DailyDirt: Problems With Peer Reviewed Publications

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Peer review isn't exactly a sexy topic, but it's an essential part of academic publishing -- and it may need to change a bit to keep up with the times. Peer review is typically a thankless chore that is distributed among academics working in a network of related fields, and sometimes personal politics can enter into the process if the subject matter is obscure enough. Misconduct in peer review doesn't usually get the same kind of coverage as various journalistic scandals (eg. Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed, etc), but the damages done can be even more significant to society. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2015 @ 5:56pm

    Public funded research is thankfully being required to be published in open access journals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 5:16am

    "Public funded" research to be published in "open access".

    I bet there is some leeway, some interpretation, definitely will be continued corruption.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 11:45am

    On peer review

    You say perhaps AI will make it HARDER to detect shady papers? Why would we use it, then? Don't you mean "easier"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Michael Ho (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 11:57am

      Re: On peer review

      Gene, I meant more difficult... analogous to the ways spammers use software to get around spam filters. Legit publishers won't use it, but sketchy journals that are trying to sound legit would.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 10:43pm

    There used to be peerless scientific journals; now we have peer-less.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lepton x, 16 Apr 2015 @ 7:28pm


    Peer review is not an objective rule based process. It's subjective as the reviewer is asked to gauge the work's novelty as well as its impact and authenticity.

    An article may be rejected for any one of the above based on the journals own internal, 'floating', standards. Researchers know which journals will likely publish their work just by reading comparable papers previously published (i.e. don't try to publish your global cooling hypothesis in a journal that only published global warming papers)

    Every journal has its own biases, and some may not like you or your area or even what country you reside.
    There are often cabals of reviewers with a particular view who span several journals.

    The whole process is biased, but not totally corrupt. Journals are in the business of selling overpriced subscriptions though and there is MASSIVE competition due to an over-abundance of journals.

    It's also a fact most people with things to do don't want to serve as reviewers (Ala jury duty) and so you may get a particular type of wanker who enjoys sadistic rejection.
    It's also true a reviewer is unlikely to approve a paper that contradicts his or her own research.

    The process is marginally fair if you do your due diligence in selecting the right journal.

    P.S- people who publish crap may get away with it once or twice, but then the plug will be pulled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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