The journal system of publishing scientific research is complex and slow. A new system is long overdue.
I suggest the following: A new organization is set up, by the name of "World Organization for Scientific Communication", or something along those lines. The organization is funded and run by its
members, which could be a combination of universities, research councils or businesses.
A website is set up. The rules are as follows.
1) *Anyone* can submit a scientific article. The only condition is proof of identity, which is verified though a token credit card/ debit card fee of $10. The fee also discourages joke submissions. The author chooses one or several categories and subcategories, eg. physics/plasma science;
2) Once submitted, a paper appears on the website immediately, but the author remains anonymous. The author has the option to hide the paper from certain users (eg. rivals) until it is peer reviewed.
3) Above each publication, a box says "warning! this publication has not been peer reviewed"
Below each publication, users can rate the quality of an article on a scale between "bad" and "ground braking". Users can also send anonymous emails to the author to voice their criticism, and change their vote any time before the peer review deadline.
4) An algorithm works out a ranking of papers based on a) the vote and b) the respectability of the voter. Respectability is determined by how the entire work of scientist is ranked on the website. Initial ranking is of new papers is determined by respectability of the author.
5) After a period of 6 months the peer review process ends. The name of the author is revealed. No more rating is possible and the author may no longer make changes.
6) Once a paper is peer reviewed, it will be ranked further by number and quality of citations.
7) Next to every paragraph and diagram of every article, users can enter a link to their own comments, criticisms and diagrams etc. Links are color coded according to respectability of the user adding the link.
8) Every month the 10 highest ranked papers submitted in the same month of the previous year are published in a magazine, together with reviews etc.
1) Immediate publication means faster communication and proliferation of ideas, as well as correction of mistakes.
2) Network effects. All branches of science and medicine are combined on a single communications platform. Obscure authors are less likely to be overlooked. Searching is facilitated.
3) Annotation of articles helps readers to see other perspectives and find additional information not published in the original article.
4) More democratic.
5) Previously unpublished work becomes available. This work, which may be potentially useful to some, is still hidden from users who choose to restrict their search to a minimum ranking.
6) More emphasis on quality than quantity. Sumbmitting below-average articles will decrease a user's respectablity.