Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sexist Weather And Hermaphroditic Frogs: The Problem Of Faux Peer Review

By Hank Campbell July 14th 2014

In today's Wall Street Journal, I have an article discussing recent problems in peer review.  It's big news when a journal busts a 'peer review ring' that had manipulated its way to 60 papers sailing through peer review that then had to be retracted. Prior to that, Nature retracted a paper on stem cells that was obviously flawed - and everyone but the peer reviewers knew it.

The issue may be news but it's not new. Everyone in science has joked about gaming peer review, I wondered in Penny Stock Peer Review why it did not happen more and I speculated it is because most scientists are honest.

But not everyone is playing fair - sometimes they want to Do God's Work. They believe their claims are vital to saving humanity and that if they don't rig the system, some conspiracy will block them out. The end justifies the means, and all that. The damage to policy and public trust in science can still be substantial when that happens. Why is the public going to believe peer review on climate change and evolution, or vaccines, GMOs and energy, when junk papers about Facebook emotions and female hurricane names get a faux peer review legitimacy stamp from an elite journal?......To Read More.....

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