We have had quite a few discussions on how to gauge the quality of research papers and academic journals. The consensus is that it is tough to identify a single metric which could reveal this quality factor.
I had an idea in this context. In the past newspapers used to have a single "Letters to Editor" section to which comments on all articles were sent. With the advent of the Net, we have a comments section under every article.
- Similarly, why don't reputable journals introduce a comment space for their published papers, where fellow researchers could appreciate/criticise/query the works?
- What hinders us from having a reputation system for published papers - something where registered users could vote based on their perceived utility?
For an update, you might want to have a look at probably the largest organized group discussing this and similar issues - FORCE http://www.force11.org/ - stands for "The future of research communication and e-scholarship"
In Manifesto they say that new models of reputation are required, etc. However, a ready to use system is not yet developed