Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Dolphin, Jun 2, 2015.
This is just one opinion, of course.
I agree that this can be a problem.
The mistake is over emphasising the limited peer review practised by mainstream science journals.
There are much better ways of peer review, eg that demonstrated by PeerJ (which was founded by former PLOS people) which has an open pre-publication peer review system and peer review, including modifications to the manuscript (changes are logged), post-publication.
Peer review is counterproductive and obsolete to my mind. So I think I agree with the author. All research should be published in a global data repository - especially all the boring negative data that at present never sees the light of day. Individuals should have to make their own mind up as to how significant it is, rather than rely on 'experts'.
I don't think it is that simple. The problem isn't so much the existence of experts reviewing the work, but rather experts being the gatekeepers for what is considered Good Science™.
Open publication does not mean the absence of review by peers!
I quite like the idea of combining full transparency, with both pre- and post-publication review, and a greater willingness of journals to retract papers.
Not prepared to ditch peer review completely yet.
That is really what I was meaning. 'Peer review' implies some sort of gatekeeping, at least in its present form. And the gatekeepers are the people too dumb to have discovered what the author has discovered - and either envious or so dumb they cannot even understand it when they see it.
I would go for all research projects being published in a completely non-judgmental repository. Journals are parasitic commercial enterprises we no longer need. Nothing should be retracted, it should just sit there with comments indicating why it is flawed. You then have open forums like PR for peer review by anybody. The peer review on here by people with no expertise in the specific field is often sharper than anything you get in the journal system. PLOS does have something like that (they seem to public any rubbish too) but the problem is that critical debate is almost entirely absent from science these days - in contrast to the late nineteenth century in Germany where everyone had to defend their work in public - and at least still survived in the Physiological Society when I last went in 1980!
The problem is that the likelihood o science suddenly becoming an honest open debating house may be similar to that of FIFA becoming a philanthropic organisation.
Prof. Edwards, I was surprised to hear you say that critical debate is almost entirely absent from science these days - from my limited experience of it I would agree that it often seems to be lacking, I just didn't expect a prominent doctor and researcher to say that. Do you think this is because the skills for such critical debate are lacking in today's researchers? Or is just that there is no place for this kind of debate?
It seems to be because most biomedical scientists don't like debating - it shows up the fact that most of the time they are biomedibabbling. An eminent immunologist, Avrion Mitcheson, told me early in my career that there simply was no scientific debate in immunology and I was a fool to try to stimulate one. The message seemed to be that immunology is a branch of second hand car dealing like all jobs and I should grow up. Fortunately I took no notice. I never got any grants because i showed too many people up for bullshitting, but I got the answers I wanted to the questions I was interested in so I don't really care.
Wow, that is quite some lesson to teach young researchers.
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