Amending the literature through version control | Biology Letters
peter.suber's bookmarks 2023-01-24
Abstract: The ideal of self-correction in science is not well served by the current culture and system surrounding amendments to published literature. Here we describe our view of how amendments could and should work by drawing on the idea of an author-led version control system. We report a survey (n = 132) that highlights academics' dissatisfaction with the status quo and their support for such an alternative approach. Authors would include a link in their published manuscripts to an updatable website (e.g. a GitHub repository) that could be disseminated in the event of any amendment. Such a system is already in place for computer code and requires nothing but buy-in from the scientific community—a community that is already evolving towards open science frameworks. This would remove a number of frictions that discourage amendments leading to an improved scientific literature and a healthier academic climate.