Peer review, especially peer review of chemical safety/risk assessments, is under assault. Is something inherently wrong with the process of this area of peer review?
When science and money mix, science suffers. The pressure to publish and get grant money has corrupted researchers, who must "publish or perish" and get grants. This unholy alliance between the popular media and scholarly publications spawned the never-ending flow of sensationalistic results, especially those pertaining to human health effects.
Dr. Ioannidis is not just a bull in a china shop; he's a bazooka in a china shop. And now the bazooka is aimed at shoddy nutrition research, which he suggests is in need of "radical reform."
A well-publicized paper on suicide rates by occupation might have produced faulty data. A re-analysis is underway, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention taking action.
Typically, the peer review process is "single-blind," meaning that reviewers are aware of an author's identity. Yet it can also be "double-blind," where neither the author nor the reviewers know each other's identity. But, bottom line: Does knowing who wrote a paper influence the reviewer's opinion of it?
It is easy to see how the peer review process has flaws. How to fix those flaws is a bit more difficult. However, at the "Peer Review Congress" a group of scientists meets every four years to do just that, when they consider ongoing problems with the quality and credibility of science and discuss potential improvements.
Peer review is not a corporate conspiracy, even though at least one biology professor thinks so.
In a field like gender studies, what constitutes a respectable outlet? We can make progress toward answering that question by utilizing SCImago's ranking of academic journals.
NYU physicist Alan Sokal thought very little of the research performed by his colleagues in the social sciences. To prove his point, he wrote a paper that used plenty of trendy buzz words but made absolutely no sense. As he later explained, Dr. Sokal wanted to find out if a humanities journal would "publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions." It would. His paper, "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," was published in the journal Social Text in 1996, and his hoax has earned him a place in scientific history.
Here is an insider's look on how to know when data should be taken seriously and when they should be ignored. (Hint ... it's all about where you find it.)
We ve written before on scientific fraud and the problem of how easy it is to get papers with fake or manipulated data published. These studies that somehow make it through the publishing process can range from relatively harmless, such as the deliberately faked chocolate is good for weight loss study,
A lot of what is published is incorrect. Quite an assertion, since it refers to medical progress as a swamp of distortions masquerading as fact, evidence, peer-reviewed science. Who says so? Why, none other than the Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, among others.