Monday, November 28, 2016

Scientific Integrity is an Oxymoron: The Peer Review Problem

By Thomas P. Sheahen

Recent news reports have observed that a lot of published scientific papers are worthless and not true, with initial claims turning out to be false. This is particularly worrisome where newly invented medicines are concerned. The problem also affects published results in fields as diverse as psychology and global warming.  We ask “what’s wrong?” The problem seems to be that the system known as “peer-review” is not doing its job properly.

The process of peer review is a cornerstone of scientific integrity, the guarantee of quality in a scientific research paper. Catch phrases like “holy grail” come to mind. When a researcher accomplishes something, the concluding step is to publish the results in the scientific literature. Enroute to publication, the paper must undergo peer review..........Read more

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