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After publishing an article, assuming that the publisher doesn't prevent you from sharing an article online in a public place, the authors might want to receive additional feedback.

Are there good online methods for attracting and receiving comments on one's article, in addition to collaborators, reviewers, and emails? If possible the comments should be public so that other people could reply to comments.

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I'm aware of three general approaches that seem to be currently effective for seeding such discussion. Listed in order from most direct to least direct:

  • Comments hosted by the journal itself: a number of journals that are embracing open science principles are embracing commentary directly. With this, you don't need to take your article anywhere else for people to comment on it: they can do so right there at the article. Examples of this approach include PLOS ONE and the Frontiers series.

  • Some sites, most notably PubPeer, are explicitly intended to support discussion of articles.

  • If you've got a blog or other social media site, you can also host discussion there. For some people, this can be very effective, but you generally must already have a significant audience in order for this to be an effective strategy.

In all case, however, it still tends to be difficult to get meaningful discussion going of most articles, since academics don't seem very interested in comments sections unless there's a fight going on...

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  • So on PLoS ONE anyone can comment on any article? That is interesting. But, the internet being what it is, it is so easy to imagine going wrong … – xebtl Aug 21 '15 at 8:14
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You should see if the publisher allows other publications of your work. For example you could publish the same article to a reputable and high traffic blog within the industry. Most blogs allow comments and if it's an industry specific blog then you should only get people within that industry commenting.

If you don't want to republish the same article then you could ask the blog itself to comment on your article and link it to the original publication. This could get comments via email from your publication or comments about the article on the blog that talks about it.

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In addition to @jakebeal's points, I think the more “traditional” ways should be mentioned:

  • E-mail. Usually, an author can be marked as “corresponding author” and associated with an e-mail address. Sure, it is not public, but I suspect it is one of the more common ways that comments and discussions actually happen.

  • Talks. When you present your work at a conference, discussions may ensue, and this is semi-public.

  • Formally published comments. Many journals accept Comments on existing articles as a separate category of paper. Most often, this will be to point out some (real/perceived/alleged) problem in the original paper, and there will be replies and rebuttals, which can continue to several levels of commentary.

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