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Thread: How important is peer-review?

  1. #1 How important is peer-review? 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    It's quite obvious that science is important to society, but it predates peer-review. So I'm wondering how this new invention (peer-review) changed science and society.


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    I can quote peer-reviewed studies that show what peer review has almost no value.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexer
    I can quote peer-reviewed studies that show what peer review has almost no value.
    It depends on who those "peers" are. Peer-reviewed studies from a reputable journal that has retained the confidence of the general scientific community are more important. You should always read critically though, editors sometimes make mistakes and they let through minor errors. On occasion you will see someone state a finding in the abstract that is not actually shown in the paper, which is a huge lapse on the part of the editors.
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    The only real point of peer review is to certify that it isn't obvious nonsense or bullshit, and that reading it and trying to understand it is therefor worth a scientist's (hopefully) valuable time. A lot of stuff that's very questionable still gets published in peer-reviewed journals, but you can be pretty confident that there at least aren't any glaring problems with the work.
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    how can science predate peers reviewing other peers?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    how can science predate peers reviewing other peers?
    Originally peer review meant that some other scientist would do the experiment you describe to make sure it gave the result you claimed. It was an independent check that the scientist wasn't just making stuff up, or making some sort of obvious mistake.

    That's not really feasible any more, so now peer review mainly just means that someone reads it to see if it makes sense or has any obvious problems.
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    peer review to me is nothing more than glorified proof reading
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    On the contrary, getting one's thesis past one's peers in science is often a grueling and arduous task. Having done it, you can bask in the satisfaction that you've answered any question or criticism that can be thrown at your from people who are at least, if not more, knowledgeable on the subject as yourself.

    The idea is that half-baked ideas and pseudoscientific nonsense gets filtered out and only those hypotheses that can withstand the rigors of scientific scrutiny remain.

    To my experience, criticism of peer-review is directly and inversely proportional to the volume of "half-baked ideas" one harbors.
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    yet you forget that many scientists stillhold onto those 'half baked ideas' long after they have been peered reviewed.

    you make it sound like it is a perfect world and a perfect system and it isn't. we wouldn't have the string theory if peer review actually was taken seriously.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Of course its not perfect. It is, however, the best system currently available. Those scientists that cannot let go of their "half-baked" ideas are few and very far between. The threat of ridicule and harsh criticism keeps them in check and the mystery-mongers and significance-junkies that are barely educated in sciences to begin with aren't even in the equation.
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  12. #11  
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    Peer review means more than just passing review for publication. It means that the most significant results are always considered to be pending independent confirmation. It also means withstanding the review of the community on publication and, if our work is noteworthy enough, it will inevitably need to withstand systematic review for inclusion in review papers and meta-analyses. The system is far from perfect, but it is invaluable.

    As Skin says, the scientists who can't let go of their ideas once conclusively falsified are rare and invariably become sidelined as an embarrassment. You can often find them peddling their ideas in books or to the media. They also tend to be the ones heard complaining loudest about how peer review does not work. Ironically, they are evidence that it does work.
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    Of course its not perfect. It is, however, the best system currently available. Those scientists that cannot let go of their "half-baked" ideas are few and very far between. The threat of ridicule and harsh criticism keeps them in check and the mystery-mongers and significance-junkies that are barely educated in sciences to begin with aren't even in the equation.
    i would disagree with you and will cite dr. del ratzsch and his book The Battle of Beginnings as a good source for my position.

    by the way, i see where you keep asking me for references yet you never set the example and continually post without any to back up your point of view. why is that?

    Peer review means more than just passing review for publication. It means that the most significant results are always considered to be pending independent confirmation. It also means withstanding the review of the community on publication and, if our work is noteworthy enough, it will inevitably need to withstand systematic review for inclusion in review papers and meta-analyses. The system is far from perfect, but it is invaluable
    LOOK, i know what peer review is, KEEP IN MIND that i am free 1. not to like it; 2. disagree with it; 3. feel that it is not that great a system; 4. i can reject it for its limitations and so on.

    stop trying ot FORCE peopel to accep tyour imperfect ideas and in trying to stop them from revealing how poor a system it is. it is easily manipulated so don't make it seem like it is holy and untouchable; it is far from such standards.
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    I think peer-review is a great way to get some new insight into something, and to also find out any kinks you yourself might have overlooked. Also, if the targeted audience is someone of your age group, or of your category, then peer review is invaluable, because then you can really get some good constructive criticism.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    LOOK, i know what peer review is, KEEP IN MIND that i am free 1. not to like it; 2. disagree with it; 3. feel that it is not that great a system; 4. i can reject it for its limitations and so on.
    I'm not disputing your freedom of expression, I'm exerting the same right and disagreeing with you. You can refute me if you wish but please don't pull the oppressed victim act.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    stop trying ot FORCE peopel to accep tyour imperfect ideas and in trying to stop them from revealing how poor a system it is.
    How could I possibly force anyone to agree with me? Showing up the inadequacies of peer-review is something scientists have done openly. Evidence of publication bias, particularly selective publication of positive studies, has itself been published by scientists. Several cases of falsified data have similarly been highlighted by scientists and members of the peer-reviewed publishing community.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    it is easily manipulated so don't make it seem like it is holy and untouchable; it is far from such standards.
    I never said it was anything of the sort. Primary publication is riddled with bias, particularly when it comes to publications coming from industries such as pharmaceuticals. That's why we have layers of assessment above that to try and compensate. For instance, a number of high profile journals agreed to a policy of insisting that all clinical studies they would publish would have to have been centrally registered at study outset- meaning that if a pharma company just fails to publish a negative study (which they've been doing for decades) that fact and bias is visible to all. So we're still far from a bias free system, but we're striving for it. I certainly can see areas in which significant improvements can be made.

    So, on what basis do you consider peer-review "glorified proof reading"? What direct experience have you had with the process and what would you suggest as an alternative to that system of review?
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by Vexer
    I can quote peer-reviewed studies that show what peer review has almost no value.
    It depends on who those "peers" are. Peer-reviewed studies from a reputable journal that has retained the confidence of the general scientific community are more important. You should always read critically though, editors sometimes make mistakes and they let through minor errors. On occasion you will see someone state a finding in the abstract that is not actually shown in the paper, which is a huge lapse on the part of the editors.
    I am an American. And it was my learning that we all should be scientists. And not leave it up to some group. A group that if they were at all intelligent would be saying that knowledge is for all. And that it would be stupid to claim that some group is above or smarter then another, because that is how every society has collapsed. If their opinion was so special it would just mean that they were ineffectual as teachers. Or their material sucked.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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    Quote Originally Posted by tritai
    I think peer-review is a great way to get some new insight into something, and to also find out any kinks you yourself might have overlooked. Also, if the targeted audience is someone of your age group, or of your category, then peer review is invaluable, because then you can really get some good constructive criticism.

    I do not know if that is a picture of you or not. But if it is you are pretty young. In our day many men had achieved almost total understanding of the universe by the eighth grade. With a few years of practical experience there was nothing left for them other then to remove evil law makers. That did not want success or science.

    Today we sell schools. They have a school for this a school for that.

    Often the school is justifying a practice that is wrong. It is teaching a way of doing things that should be ban in a first world nation.

    So although many young people have their hearts set on going somewhere, where all the people are caring and innocent, and just want to give. It just does not exist. Pick the hardest most realistic person you know and that is the nicest person you will meet. He will tell you with friends like him you do not need enemies. And he is the nice guy.

    Peer review is a drug to hide what is happening to science.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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    I think peer-review is a great way to get some new insight into something, and to also find out any kinks you yourself might have overlooked. Also, if the targeted audience is someone of your age group, or of your category, then peer review is invaluable, because then you can really get some good constructive criticism.
    when i said that 'peer review is nothing more than glorified proofreading' i am meaning that you can get what you describe anywhere and do not need to submit it to a select committee to achieve these results.

    on what basis do you consider peer-review "glorified proof reading"? What direct experience have you had with the process and what would you suggest as an alternative to that system of review
    my main point is that peer review is nOT the ideal everyone makes it out to be and the great process one wants it to be. i mean a good editor can do the same job.

    it is a good filter for censorship and restriciting dissenting opinions. i don't really care if you use it or not but don't make it the ideal standard when it isn't.
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  19. #18  
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    All articles rejected by peer review are rejected for good reason. But not all articles accepted by peer review are good science. It's like the first line of defense. Or that's the theory anyway. If you're in a really niche research area, it might be a little politic-y.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    when i said that 'peer review is nothing more than glorified proofreading' i am meaning that you can get what you describe anywhere and do not need to submit it to a select committee to achieve these results.
    Really. So if I wrote an article describing the methods and results of a study I conducted on isotopic measurements of strontium in three populations of skeletal remains across the Chiapas region of Mexico and how the results indicate immigration and migration with some of the individuals from coming from ancient Guatamala, then I should be fine with letting the editorial staff of Woman's Day review my data and evaluate my results?

    In the peer-reviewed system, such a study is presented before peers and mentors, the methodology rigorously challenged and vetted. Then, if you care to publish your findings, an article is presented to the appropriate journal to be reviewed by more of your peers before acceptance. Once accepted, the published version is thus available for peers in the same field who were not referees and they are free to critique the work. In most cases, the researcher(s) humbly accepts correction, suggestion, and criticism -occasionally being able to revise his/her work for improvement.

    on what basis do you consider peer-review "glorified proof reading"? What direct experience have you had with the process and what would you suggest as an alternative to that system of review
    my main point is that peer review is nOT the ideal everyone makes it out to be and the great process one wants it to be. i mean a good editor can do the same job.
    I'm still curious, what do you suggest as an alternative to publishing research findings and ensuring that pseudoscience and bad science are filtered out? I, along with others in this thread, readily admit imperfection in peer-review, but I know of no better method. You've been asked once -we get no answer. I ask again: what direct experience do you have with the peer-review process that allows you to believe that any editor (regardless of this editor's expertise) can do the same job and what would you suggest as an alternative?

    it is a good filter for censorship and restriciting dissenting opinions. i don't really care if you use it or not but don't make it the ideal standard when it isn't.
    This statement, at least, answers one of the questions above. Clearly you have no experience with the process. Science is all about "dissenting opinions." In most of the journals I read on a regular basis, there are on-going voices of dissent and disagreement on a variety of issues, which I read with utter fascination and glee at the openness and candor with which science can truly be conducted. Take for instance the so-called "hobbit" found on the island of Flores in Indonesia. There are camps that consider this a new species of hominid, separate from modern humans. There are also those that consider it to be just an unusual modern human -a Homo sapiens sapiens with a congenital condition like hydrocephalus.

    We're not making peer-review out to be "an ideal standard." It just happens to be the best standard so far, but revision is always possible and perhaps necessary as time goes on.
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    It makes you wonder if there are any meta-scientists. Maybe a sect of sociologists? Some scientific camp which studies scientists and how they work and interact as a whole, and provides theories and experiments for improvement.
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    I think Arch follows the statement
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    To my experience, criticism of peer-review is directly and inversely proportional to the volume of "half-baked ideas" one harbors.
    as he has massive criticism of peer review and has a lot, LOT, of half-baked ideas to throw at us, with little to no reference to back him up, and little to no ability to take criticism for his own ideas, stating we are all wrong for disagreeing with his 'perfect' theories.

    well put Skin.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    actually you do not need the system at all. reaction will take place once the article is published and rebuttals would come in. i am just not a fan of that system and feel it is redundant.

    I'm still curious, what do you suggest as an alternative to publishing research findings and ensuring that pseudoscience and bad science are filtered out
    subjective and too prone to prevailing thought, fads, jealousies or the flavor of the month and so on. it i sbest just to let editors deal with the articles and avoid problems from those who have an ax to grind or whatever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    actually you do not need the system at all. reaction will take place once the article is published and rebuttals would come in. i am just not a fan of that system and feel it is redundant.
    Two problems:

    Editors would still need to select articles for publication. A journal can't practically print everything sent to it, especially journals with smaller circulation- the printing costs or net hosting costs would sink them.

    By removing peer-review and limiting the role of editors, the quality papers will be massively outnumbered by bad quality papers and both with be outnumbered by insane ramblings. The sheer volume of articles to respond to and refute in the public eye would be enormous and primarily consistent of total garbage.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    subjective and too prone to prevailing thought, fads, jealousies or the flavor of the month and so on. it i sbest just to let editors deal with the articles and avoid problems from those who have an ax to grind or whatever.
    But the editors are still open to prevailing thought, fads, jealousies or the flavour of the month. Only with your system, their word is the final word. They'll also be the sole quality control for a journal, meaning there'll need to be more of them looking more closely at papers but often without the expertise to judge the paper in any sense.

    What you're pushing for already exists, so your idea is redundant. There are lots of non-peer reviewed journals. The peer-reviewed journals themselves are of widely varying standard and competing interests. There are mainstream science magazines more than happy feature non-published but notable work. There are countless non-reviewed science blogs and websites. Nobody is being censored. But the reader has options- and peer-reviewed journals offer a certain guarantee of methodological quality. They don't indicate credibility, but notability in a vast field of information.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    I am an American. And it was my learning that we all should be scientists. And not leave it up to some group. A group that if they were at all intelligent would be saying that knowledge is for all. And that it would be stupid to claim that some group is above or smarter then another, because that is how every society has collapsed. If their opinion was so special it would just mean that they were ineffectual as teachers. Or their material sucked.
    Or that most people just don't give a damn, and are too lazy to learn. Seriously, most scientists would LOVE it if more people knew about science. The problem is that really learning about science is hard work, even if you have a good teacher, and the vast majority of people just want scientists to tell them the "right answer" without having to put any effort into learning or understanding things themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    when i said that 'peer review is nothing more than glorified proofreading' i am meaning that you can get what you describe anywhere and do not need to submit it to a select committee to achieve these results.
    Depends on the subject. What you say might be true if I'm writing a "general interest" paper. But if I write a technical paper comparing the pros and cons of different ways to mathematically model super-sonic airflow over airplane wings, you're probably going to need a "select committee" just to understand what the hell I'm talking about, let alone provide any kind of useful feedback.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Or that most people just don't give a damn, and are too lazy to learn. Seriously, most scientists would LOVE it if more people knew about science. The problem is that really learning about science is hard work, even if you have a good teacher, and the vast majority of people just want scientists to tell them the "right answer" without having to put any effort into learning or understanding things themselves.
    Quite agree. Expanding on your last point, most people think science is about the knowledge itself, not the process of acquiring the knowledge. While much of the knowledge is fascinating, the voyage of discovery is even more so.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Or that most people just don't give a damn, and are too lazy to learn. Seriously, most scientists would LOVE it if more people knew about science. The problem is that really learning about science is hard work, even if you have a good teacher, and the vast majority of people just want scientists to tell them the "right answer" without having to put any effort into learning or understanding things themselves.
    Quite agree. Expanding on your last point, most people think science is about the knowledge itself, not the process of acquiring the knowledge. While much of the knowledge is fascinating, the voyage of discovery is even more so.
    Plus it is the method about which we are "dogmatic", and not the knowledge that we have acquired using the method. That is never held sacred, at least not by good scientists. The knowledge is only accepted as true pending rigorous confirmation using the method. It never becomes true in an absolute sense.
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    I do not know if that is a picture of you or not. But if it is you are pretty young. In our day many men had achieved almost total understanding of the universe by the eighth grade. With a few years of practical experience there was nothing left for them other then to remove evil law makers. That did not want success or science.

    Today we sell schools. They have a school for this a school for that.

    Often the school is justifying a practice that is wrong. It is teaching a way of doing things that should be ban in a first world nation.

    So although many young people have their hearts set on going somewhere, where all the people are caring and innocent, and just want to give. It just does not exist. Pick the hardest most realistic person you know and that is the nicest person you will meet. He will tell you with friends like him you do not need enemies. And he is the nice guy.

    Peer review is a drug to hide what is happening to science.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
    Wait, what? I just gave my opinion based on what's going on in my eighth grade life right now....you made it sound like I was conspiring to overthrow the U.S. or something. I was just - never mind. I can't explain.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by tritai
    Wait, what? I just gave my opinion based on what's going on in my eighth grade life right now....you made it sound like I was conspiring to overthrow the U.S. or something.
    He does that, it's not just you.
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    William is a very special man.
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    William is a very special man.


    Is this special? Or did you mean something more like this......(get a load of this hunk!)






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    Depends on the subject. What you say might be true if I'm writing a "general interest" paper. But if I write a technical paper comparing the pros and cons of different ways to mathematically model super-sonic airflow over airplane wings, you're probably going to need a "select committee" just to understand what the hell I'm talking about, let alone provide any kind of useful feedback.
    yet that can be done privately without having a 'system' in place.

    Editors would still need to select articles for publication. A journal can't practically print everything sent to it, especially journals with smaller circulation- the printing costs or net hosting costs would sink them.

    By removing peer-review and limiting the role of editors, the quality papers will be massively outnumbered by bad quality papers and both with be outnumbered by insane ramblings. The sheer volume of articles to respond to and refute in the public eye would be enormous and primarily consistent of total garbage.
    i see your point and i never said it was a perfect solution BUT many papers are dismissed without consideration solely for the religious point of view. that is not honest (and i am not talking about crackpot christians submitting worthless papers)

    the built in bias undermines the good the peer review could accomplish.

    But the editors are still open to prevailing thought, fads, jealousies or the flavour of the month. Only with your system, their word is the final word. They'll also be the sole quality control for a journal, meaning there'll need to be more of them looking more closely at papers but often without the expertise to judge the paper in any sense
    yet they have rules in place already to watch out for such things.
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    But the editors are still open to prevailing thought, fads, jealousies or the flavour of the month. Only with your system, their word is the final word. They'll also be the sole quality control for a journal, meaning there'll need to be more of them looking more closely at papers but often without the expertise to judge the paper in any sense
    yet they have rules in place already to watch out for such things.
    And similarly rules are in place when it comes to the review stage. And even beyond that, fraud and bias can be identified post publication. Retractions can be and have been forced. Policies changed in response to systematic problems. The system is being refined constantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i see your point and i never said it was a perfect solution BUT many papers are dismissed without consideration solely for the religious point of view. that is not honest (and i am not talking about crackpot christians submitting worthless papers)
    A purely religious point of view, if portrayed as unquestionably factual, central to a hypothesis or used as a starting assumption, has no place in a scientific paper. Starting assumptions must be based upon facts established by empirical evidence. Hypothesis must be falsifiable. Religious beliefs are by definition contrary to this. Despite the impression you have, peer review has nothing to do with such rejections, the editors would bounce any paper using religious beliefs as a starting assumption. Your issue is not with the peer-review system. Your issue is with how we define science.

    As to the quality of such papers, I've read the top-end creation geology and creation biology papers. Even with the religious assumptions removed, I've yet to see one which would pass muster for a low-impact peer-reviewed journal. Some of them were so weak as to make me laugh, which is an odd thing for a stuffy piece of academic writing to do even to a geek like me. It's little surprise that the proponents of such work speak loudest against peer-review and feel compelled to start their own journals with special rules just for them. What they haven't gathered is that their papers are typically too weak even to reach the review stage.
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    Your issue is not with the peer-review system. Your issue is with how we define science.
    that would be an assumption as i could say you only like the peer review system because it weeds out the christian truth.

    one thing secularists need to realize, they do not own science and their definitions are not the final word on what is or isn't science. you like to think so butit is not so.

    As to the quality of such papers, I've read the top-end creation geology and creation biology papers. Even with the religious assumptions removed, I've yet to see one which would pass muster for a low-impact peer-reviewed journal. Some of them were so weak as to make me laugh, which is an odd thing for a stuffy piece of academic writing to do even to a geek like me. It's little surprise that the proponents of such work speak loudest against peer-review and feel compelled to start their own journals with special rules just for them. What they haven't gathered is that their papers are typically too weak even to reach the review stage.
    that is your opinion influenced by your bias, though there are those creationists who think they wrote a good paper when it isn't that doesn't mean they are all thatway. i know for a fact that many top christian scientists do not submit their work to secularists and have started their own system. how far along it is i do not know.
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  36. #35  
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    maybe you have heard of the journal PNAS?

    There are several ways to get an article published in there. Most of them do not involve peer review.

    Yet it is quite a high impact journal, and the News media often picks stories from this journal.



    Anyway, anyone here actually did any peer review, or been the subject to it? I think I reviewed about 10 papers last year. Could have been more, but I refuse a lot since it just takes too much time and there is the golden rule that you shouldn't peer review more than 4 times the amount of articles you publish.

    It's all rather fucked up. My only criteria nowadays for peer review is that the data should match the conclusions and the data should be done properly. That doesn't sound like much, but it seems an impossibility for many.

    I never reject a paper though (not quite true, I had some cases of plagiarism). Scientists need publications. They need a chance to correct their errors.

    So I always suggest modifications. Sometimes of course they are not possible due to the limitations of the scientist, but that is not my problem.

    Many reviewers though review with vengeance. They check whether they agree with the conclusions or not, not whether the conclusions fit the data. There is a big difference between the two. I reviewed several papers of my closest competitor. If his conclusions match the data, but I don't agree with the conclusions because I see that the data also supports my conclusion, I still let it pass. But many scientists do not do that at all.

    Then you get these really fucked up responses from reviewers that are rather personal.

    I had one recently and all I could think was: you are one fucked up individual.

    It's up to the community to decide whether to accept the conclusions or not. They are not stupid. They can see the data and they can see the conclusions. They can see it matches and they can see if there is room for more interpretation.

    Also journals tend to use the same reviewers all over again. There was one journal who used the same reviewer 60 times in a single year. That creates a bias and a possibility to influence the scientific output for a single person.

    Well, there are many more problems. We are just scratching the surface here.
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    anybody disagree with that? i found it interesting.
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    while I won't disagree that individual journals will create a bias, I will not say the the act of Peer-review is set up to be subject to these biases. Quite the contrary, I'd wager most notable scientists seek to have their work reviewed by the people they would consider to be their peers. The system that a given journal will implement, I will agree with you Archy (amazingly) and Spur, can be very biased in what they consider to be the peers of a given scientist. Peer-Review is however a fantastic tool, seeing as, even in a religious scientific exploration, one can consult the people they would consider to be 'authorities' on whatever topic they are writing on and get the criticism that should spur your understanding and thirst for presenting a view to the audience that you intend to educate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    Your issue is not with the peer-review system. Your issue is with how we define science.
    that would be an assumption as i could say you only like the peer review system because it weeds out the christian truth.
    You're not getting my point. Peer review is not what is causing your creationist papers to bounce. The editors and how they define science is. You're not getting to the peer-review stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    one thing secularists need to realize, they do not own science and their definitions are not the final word on what is or isn't science. you like to think so butit is not so.
    That's like saying you don't own the definition of Christian so I can redefine it to mean "someone who believes Thor exists". While we can certainly argue over superficial elements of the definitions of the two words, there's an agreed central meaning to these words that if changed renders the word meaningless. Whatever you believe about Calvanism versus Arinianism, if you take Christ out of the definition of Christian, you're not talking about Christianity any more. Science is a very specific philosophy that specifically rejects the concept of acquiring or accepting knowledge without evidence. You can't take that element out of science any more than you could take Christ out of Christian.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    As to the quality of such papers, I've read the top-end creation geology and creation biology papers. Even with the religious assumptions removed, I've yet to see one which would pass muster for a low-impact peer-reviewed journal. Some of them were so weak as to make me laugh, which is an odd thing for a stuffy piece of academic writing to do even to a geek like me. It's little surprise that the proponents of such work speak loudest against peer-review and feel compelled to start their own journals with special rules just for them. What they haven't gathered is that their papers are typically too weak even to reach the review stage.
    that is your opinion influenced by your bias, though there are those creationists who think they wrote a good paper when it isn't that doesn't mean they are all thatway. i know for a fact that many top christian scientists do not submit their work to secularists and have started their own system. how far along it is i do not know.
    I do. There is Creation, Journal of Creation and most recently Answers Research Journal and other similar publications. Take a leaf through these journals and you'll find mostly opinion pieces and literature reviews. The actual amount of primary research they publish is minimal and of poor quality because the scientific battlefield is not where the creationist movement is fighting any more. You can call my reading of that work opinion or bias, but I can honestly tell you that I've been involved in the peer-review of a few of mainstream biology papers, two of which I recommended for rejection. Both were of generally better quality than the work I've seen published in the above mentioned journals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    maybe you have heard of the journal PNAS?

    There are several ways to get an article published in there. Most of them do not involve peer review.

    Yet it is quite a high impact journal, and the News media often picks stories from this journal.
    Well it's impact factor is down to how often it gets cited, and I'm sure the mainstream media coverage helps that too.

    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Anyway, anyone here actually did any peer review, or been the subject to it? I think I reviewed about 10 papers last year. Could have been more, but I refuse a lot since it just takes too much time and there is the golden rule that you shouldn't peer review more than 4 times the amount of articles you publish.

    It's all rather fucked up. My only criteria nowadays for peer review is that the data should match the conclusions and the data should be done properly. That doesn't sound like much, but it seems an impossibility for many.

    I never reject a paper though (not quite true, I had some cases of plagiarism). Scientists need publications. They need a chance to correct their errors.

    So I always suggest modifications. Sometimes of course they are not possible due to the limitations of the scientist, but that is not my problem.

    Many reviewers though review with vengeance. They check whether they agree with the conclusions or not, not whether the conclusions fit the data. There is a big difference between the two. I reviewed several papers of my closest competitor. If his conclusions match the data, but I don't agree with the conclusions because I see that the data also supports my conclusion, I still let it pass. But many scientists do not do that at all.

    Then you get these really fucked up responses from reviewers that are rather personal.

    I had one recently and all I could think was: you are one fucked up individual.

    It's up to the community to decide whether to accept the conclusions or not. They are not stupid. They can see the data and they can see the conclusions. They can see it matches and they can see if there is room for more interpretation.

    Also journals tend to use the same reviewers all over again. There was one journal who used the same reviewer 60 times in a single year. That creates a bias and a possibility to influence the scientific output for a single person.

    Well, there are many more problems. We are just scratching the surface here.
    Totally agree, but scrapping peer-review isn't the answer. And it's now pretty clear that the question was asked because the OP is a creationist and would love to believe that the work of his fellows is not published because of bias. I mean, couldn't be because the hypothesis has been falsified to death for over a century, and that the only people left research it are delusional, it just couldn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    anybody disagree with that? i found it interesting.
    No disagreement at all. I found SpuriousMonkey's assessment to be generally accurate.
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    You're not getting my point. Peer review is not what is causing your creationist papers to bounce. The editors and how they define science is. You're not getting to the peer-review stage.
    i am not worried about what papers get bounced. i was mainly using that as an example as to how peer review can be used to censor different perspectives.

    I do. There is Creation, Journal of Creation and most recently Answers Research Journal and other similar publications. Take a leaf through these journals and you'll find mostly opinion pieces and literature reviews. The actual amount of primary research they publish is minimal and of poor quality because the scientific battlefield is not where the creationist movement is fighting any more. You can call my reading of that work opinion or bias, but I can honestly tell you that I've been involved in the peer-review of a few of mainstream biology papers, two of which I recommended for rejection. Both were of generally better quality than the work I've seen published in the above mentioned journals.
    i know of some of the poor quality that goes into creation papers, it is embarrassing at times (though i am sure we would have different ideas of poor quality). to me this is not the issue or the point i am making. you do example what bias can do as if someone else got those papers they might have approved them.

    to me peer review is just too subjective and isn't a very good system.
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    so, given what's already been discussed, what would be a better process? keep in mind that what's needed is a process that includes the capability of disseminating current, legitimate research in a given scientific field to the other researchers diligently using there time, funding, etc towards there research.
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    to answer that is to repeat what i have already said. why can't scientists do it privately themselves? send their papers to those colleagues they respect and who will give them an honest appraisal, listen to the critiques given, make changes then submit it to the journal.

    i doubt you are going to achieve objectivity no matter what system you put in place and there will always be problems but the journal can have people on hand to scan the submitted owrks to make sure things are on the up and up just to cover their butts.

    what gets my ire up is how people use 'peer review' as a superiority test as if that makes their paper better or more scientific than those that aren't subjected to that process.
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    Having a publication that has survived peer-review *does* immediately imply that its more reliable and qualified than a mere article that hasn't been refereed by peers in the field.

    Further, when I'm attempting to design a research thesis (and I am), I want to be sure that I'm getting valid, vetted and legitimate research sources when I'm doing the literature review. I can't get this by looking at popular science magazines, blogs and television "documentaries."

    These sources can provide some clues on where to look for primary sources, but they're useless for establishing a line of valid research on which to build new research questions.

    The peer-review system is simply the best available system and process available to science at this time. It has flaws and drawbacks, but it is currently invaluable to the researcher and the academic. The ability to get published and established in the community of one's discipline serves to provide a method of distributing research and making this research public (as opposed to keeping it private and secreted like you seem to suggest).

    But lets face it. The real reason you object to the peer-review process is that it disregards your personal beliefs and superstitions as irrelevant. And rightfully so. Thus, you must criticize that which you cannot conform to -that which refuses to permit you access on your terms.

    Once you've matured intellectually, and placed your superstitions aside to embrace reality and rationality, the peer-review system of science will be both inviting and useful. Until then you're just not welcome unless you can set aside your irrational assertions. Sorry.
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    The peer-review system is simply the best available system and process available to science at this time. It has flaws and drawbacks, but it is currently invaluable to the researcher and the academic. The ability to get published and established in the community of one's discipline serves to provide a method of distributing research and making this research public (as opposed to keeping it private and secreted like you seem to suggest).
    i disagree with you and peer review is basically what i said it was--glorified proofreading.

    i would have responded more but your assumptions and insults show that you are not mature at all. if you need to make yourself feel better than me by insulting me then that shows you have a long ways to go in catching up to where i am at.

    you can have your peer review, i could careless about it but don't think that makes the article better than one that has not been 'reviewed' officially. the other thing i see peer review as is it is just another secular game for feeling superior to one's colleagues.

    i will ignore your insult because i know you are not as smart as me.
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    lol. I bow before your obvious smartness!
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    to answer that is to repeat what i have already said. why can't scientists do it privately themselves? send their papers to those colleagues they respect and who will give them an honest appraisal, listen to the critiques given, make changes then submit it to the journal.
    And who assesses whether the colleague who did the review was truly objective with respect to the author? This does not just reduce the objectivity in the system, it makes the peer-review a popularity contest. Make enough friends in a field and you'll always be able to find someone to send your work to who will rubber stamp it. This idea is worthless.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i doubt you are going to achieve objectivity no matter what system you put in place and there will always be problems but the journal can have people on hand to scan the submitted owrks to make sure things are on the up and up just to cover their butts.
    We don't pretend that true objectivity is attainable, but we strive towards it as it gives the best results possible. By leaving reviewer selection up to the journal and by making reviewers anonymous to the author, it's harder for the author to curry favour. To suggest the solution to an unattainable objectivity is to forsake it entirely in favour having peer review done by people we know is total nonsense. Baby firmly out with the bathwater there.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    what gets my ire up is how people use 'peer review' as a superiority test as if that makes their paper better or more scientific than those that aren't subjected to that process.
    It is a mark of methodological consistency, general notability and accountability, taken with caveats. The alternative is hearsay written with scientific language.

    What gets your ire up is the use of that criticism against "Christian science". I'm sure you've taken no issue with the use of that criticism against other forms of pseudoscience.
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    i will ignore your insult because i know you are not as smart as me.
    My eyes smart when I read your stuff. Does that count?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    And who assesses whether the colleague who did the review was truly objective with respect to the author? This does not just reduce the objectivity in the system, it makes the peer-review a popularity contest. Make enough friends in a field and you'll always be able to find someone to send your work to who will rubber stamp it. This idea is worthless
    fist only unscrupolous people would do as you are suggesting and you won't stop them as they could send gifts to the editor to pass their papers on to favorable reviewers. (suggestion)

    my comment was not meaning 'rubber stamping' if you re-read what i wrote you would see that. But as it has been described but Monkey, such things happen anyways.

    We don't pretend that true objectivity is attainable, but we strive towards it as it gives the best results possible. By leaving reviewer selection up to the journal and by making reviewers anonymous to the author, it's harder for the author to curry favour. To suggest the solution to an unattainable objectivity is to forsake it entirely in favour having peer review done by people we know is total nonsense
    i would disagree. you are painting only one side of the issue. friends want to see their friends look good, so they will make sure the article is correct and upstanding, if they are good friends they won't set a person up to be ridiculed. i think you sell the idea and friends short. it is those strangers who could carless about an author and set authors up to fail.

    What gets your ire up is the use of that criticism against "Christian science". I'm sure you've taken no issue with the use of that criticism against other forms of pseudoscience
    i could careless if the criticism is honest or true as christians need to learn to do quality work but when it is generalized and bias, among other things, then the criticism is wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    to answer that is to repeat what i have already said. why can't scientists do it privately themselves? send their papers to those colleagues they respect and who will give them an honest appraisal, listen to the critiques given, make changes then submit it to the journal.
    Most scientist do that already, and float or announce their research during conferences, and other informal communications. This usually happens before they go through the arduous peer-review process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    And who assesses whether the colleague who did the review was truly objective with respect to the author? This does not just reduce the objectivity in the system, it makes the peer-review a popularity contest. Make enough friends in a field and you'll always be able to find someone to send your work to who will rubber stamp it. This idea is worthless
    fist only unscrupolous people would do as you are suggesting and you won't stop them as they could send gifts to the editor to pass their papers on to favorable reviewers. (suggestion)

    my comment was not meaning 'rubber stamping' if you re-read what i wrote you would see that. But as it has been described but Monkey, such things happen anyways.
    Sorry, but all you seem to be suggesting is that we remove one layer of control from the system and replace it with basically nothing. The process you describe is already in place, just not formalised. So how exactly would this fix the problems you see with the system? The editors are still going to bin creation research whoever reviews the stuff. So as I've indicated before, your problem is actually with how they're defining science.

    Plus with the "pal-review" now occurring before an editors decision, your hypothetical bribe becomes the last word on whether you get published. Super.

    Oh I know how we fix that, we put the peer-review after the editor... oh wait.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    We don't pretend that true objectivity is attainable, but we strive towards it as it gives the best results possible. By leaving reviewer selection up to the journal and by making reviewers anonymous to the author, it's harder for the author to curry favour. To suggest the solution to an unattainable objectivity is to forsake it entirely in favour having peer review done by people we know is total nonsense
    i would disagree. you are painting only one side of the issue. friends want to see their friends look good, so they will make sure the article is correct and upstanding, if they are good friends they won't set a person up to be ridiculed.
    Sure, in some cases. And in others it will mean that requests for raw data are not made when they should be, papers that lack notability will be recommended for journals that are too high-impact. And what happens when one receives papers on similar topics from two peers that we value differently? If we drag our heels on this paper, the novelty and potential impact of the other one is enhanced. And we've always liked Dr. X just a bit more than Dr. Y anyway. The point is that this will all be an unknown and very messy indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i think you sell the idea and friends short. it is those strangers who could carless about an author and set authors up to fail.
    It's a silly and redundant idea and your suggestion of it makes me wonder what if any contact you've had with the peer review system. I already get my colleagues to look over my work and I value their input. I'm sure I am not unique in that. But if nothing more, peer-review offers a fresh perspective. My last set of reviewer's comments contained excellent suggestions that none of my colleagues had come up with and which will certainly enhance my paper. The reviewers are all strangers to me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    What gets your ire up is the use of that criticism against "Christian science". I'm sure you've taken no issue with the use of that criticism against other forms of pseudoscience
    i could careless if the criticism is honest or true as christians need to learn to do quality work but when it is generalized and bias, among other things, then the criticism is wrong.
    And what examples of such generalised bias do you have? I assume you have reviewers comments or editorial rejections? Or are you basing this on the observation that no science journal would be caught dead intentionally publishing pseudoscience?
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    i do not care if you agree or disagree with me but leave your superiority complexes at the door next to the insults.

    it is not removing a control. if the scientist was honest enough, had character, honor then you would not need peer review. he would have his worked checked by men of integrity before submitting it to the magazine.

    you do not need these games.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i do not care if you agree or disagree with me but leave your superiority complexes at the door next to the insults.

    it is not removing a control. if the scientist was honest enough, had character, honor then you would not need peer review. he would have his worked checked by men of integrity before submitting it to the magazine.

    you do not need these games.
    Nice way to ignore all the other things peer review is used for mentioned in this thread.
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    That would be the 'head in the sand' syndrome that comes with already possessing a conclusion to which only that data which are supportive is desirable. And it's clear that this is what archy's primary concern is with peer-review: they reject his preconceived conclusions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist

    you can have your peer review, i could careless about it
    I'm wondering why you would have any interest in the peer review system at all? You said yourself you're only interested in reading one book only and that you need no other books.

    i will ignore your insult because i know you are not as smart as me.
    So, "smart" people refuse to read books?
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    do not care if you agree or disagree with me but leave your superiority complexes at the door next to the insults.
    Actually I think you do care about exactly that and the superiority complex point is an attempt to shift the focus of the argument. Instead of trying to paint me as arrogant and dismissive (yet somehow willing to talk to you at length), why don't you just refute my points? You could even throw in some evidence since you seem to be determined to make so many extraordinary claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    it is not removing a control.
    In what way is removing a layer from a system intended as a quality and notability control not removing a control? You can say that it only serves to censor but that's still a control so you're just flatly denying the obvious now. And contradicting your earlier claims that peer-review is abused to control what science is saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    if the scientist was honest enough, had character, honor then you would not need peer review.
    Which is why we need peer review. Scientists are people and people cannot be guaranteed to conform to any ideal behaviour. We don't subject ourselves to this system so we can pretend we're objective, we do it because we know full well that we're not objective.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    you do not need these games.
    Totally wrong. We do need these "games" because we're human. That's what science itself is about, a formalised system of acquiring knowledge that exists because we know our subjectivity is not trustworthy. We rely on objective verification and peer-review is a big part of that. If you're not philosophically down with that concept then whatever you're practising isn't science. That doesn't make it wrong, just not science.
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    i am entitled to my own opinion whether youu agree with it or not. i have examined the peer review process and thought baout it and i do not find it as compelling as you all do. my right.

    i see it as 'the club' mentality and is desogned to keep truth from reaching the public. sure it serves the purpose of keeping the wing nuts like hancock and wyatt from certainpublications BUT it doe sNOT stop those people from being published or even self-published.

    peer review is too limited and to narrow-minded to be of any real value and serves the needs of the elite NOT the public.

    obviously you are free to have your own opinions just do not deny me the same freedom and right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i see it as 'the club' mentality and is desogned to keep truth from reaching the public.
    And yet nearly every breakthrough of the past 50 years, without exception, has been through the peer review process and somehow inexplicably made it into the public. During the same period the degree of human knowledge has more than doubled, and that's probably a vast underestimate.
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    excuse me...are you saying that the peer review system is solely responsible for all discoveries? that would be an insult to the actual scientists doing the real work.

    in reading Watson's book and one on Crick, along wth other books on science i do not recall credit ever being given to 'peer review'.

    During the same period the degree of human knowledge has more than doubled, and that's probably a vast underestimate.
    so? too subjective to even spend the energy refuting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    excuse me...are you saying that the peer review system is solely responsible for all discoveries? that would be an insult to the actual scientists doing the real work.
    For ****'s sake, use a dictionary for once and look up the meaning of through. Then go and read what Lynx Fox wrote, not what you want him to have written.
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    i got what he said but guess what, those discoveries would have happened even without the 'peer review' system. i think he credits it way too much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i am entitled to my own opinion whether youu agree with it or not. i have examined the peer review process and thought baout it and i do not find it as compelling as you all do. my right.
    Stop pulling the oppressed victim act. I'm not silencing you, I'm asking you to back up your opinion. I've got that "right" as well. In what way have you examined the peer-review process?

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i see it as 'the club' mentality and is desogned to keep truth from reaching the public.
    It's not even a single system- it's hundreds of journals competing with each other. Rejection does not mean censorship by some centralised cabal- it means you make corrections and submit to another journal.

    Now, can you give me an example of a novel and methodologically sound paper entirely blocked by the peer-review process?

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    sure it serves the purpose of keeping the wing nuts like hancock and wyatt from certainpublications BUT it doe sNOT stop those people from being published or even self-published.
    Of course not, because that would be censorship. But it does mean that scientists don't have to trawl through pseudoscience when they read journals.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    peer review is too limited and to narrow-minded to be of any real value and serves the needs of the elite NOT the public.
    It's not supposed to serve the public- it's supposed to serve the journal in question and in doing so make it easier for scientists to pick out notable work. It reduces the editing workload, reduces editor need for expertise in a narrow field (journals usually cover several) and finally it subjects the publication to a wider range of opinions and viewpoints than it would if it were just given to editors or re-submitted to the same few colleagues each time.

    The public rarely have access to the primary literature and the science presented to the public via the media bears little resemblance to what's in the journals. Much of the science that gets to the public is not peer-reviewed, the stuff that is provides no citation for them to follow up and there's no correlation between the amount of coverage given to a piece of science in the public media and the impact factor of any related papers. So whether it ought to or not, peer-review does not serve the public. But not because of anything to do with peer-review itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    obviously you are free to have your own opinions just do not deny me the same freedom and right.
    Stop crying oppressed and back up your arguments.
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  64. #63  
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    excuse me...are you saying that the peer review system is solely responsible for all discoveries? that would be an insult to the actual scientists doing the real work.

    in reading Watson's book and one on Crick, along wth other books on science i do not recall credit ever being given to 'peer review'.
    To be fair, Watson and Crick also didn't credit the data they used without permission when formulating that structure either. So they weren't great at giving credit where it was due. Peer-review was pretty important to them too- if Rosalind Franklin had not been shown their first attempt at modelling DNA they'd have submitted a triple-helix DNA structure (their first attempt) to Nature which would almost certainly have been rejected. So be it review by Franklin or by Nature, it would always have been review which forced Watson and Crick to throw out their original and incorrect model of DNA and eventually present Nature with the double helix structure we now know to be correct.
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    but you just proved my point, they did it privately first and found their error before submiting it to the magazine. there was no need for a 'system' to double check their work.

    watson's book was a disappointment in many ways as he left out so many details i wanted to read about and the one about crick was okay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    but you just proved my point, they did it privately first and found their error before submiting it to the magazine. there was no need for a 'system' to double check their work.
    You're not getting this- they did what we all already do. We always check our work with colleagues before we submit for peer review. It's not an either/or, it's both. The stuff our colleagues don't catch is caught by the editors or peer review. Given that our colleagues are often set in a way of working very similar to us and will tend to share many of our views just by being familiar with us, the relative objectivity of formal peer-review is invaluable.

    The example of Watson and Crick just serves to demonstrate that even really excellent scientists can make huge errors- which of course means they can make smaller, harder to spot errors too. When I'm reading a research paper, I'm interested in whether the results are significant and whether they logically support the conclusions. I don't want to have to be figuring out whether the parts of the paper outside of my sphere of expertise (such as chemistry) contain errors undermine the findings. I don't have the time to worry about that level of detail, but if I know the paper has been reviewed by chemists, at least I don't need to go looking up my undergrad chemistry book to fact check those parts of the paper.
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    Scientists are people and people cannot be guaranteed to conform to any ideal behaviour.

    Exactly wrong. The one thing that ‘people’ do best, is conform.

    Scientists are people and people can be guaranteed to conform to any 'ideal' behaviour that will reward them.

    Which is why peer-reviewed articles about peer review have found it to be a waste of time at best, and a positive choke-hold of the exposition of truth, at worst.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexer
    Which is why peer-reviewed articles about peer review have found it to be a waste of time at best, and a positive choke-hold of the exposition of truth, at worst.
    Citations please.
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    Still waiting for the citations, or a retraction of your original statement. Either would be satisfactory, though a non-reply will be taken as equivalent to a retraction.
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    So you’re not aware of the literature with regard to this?

    I know it’s more than disturbing. But rather than me Google the sources I have (so many times) quoted before, I’ll – not, again.

    Rest assured, John. Assured.




    (I promise I will start a whole thread on this one day soon).

    (Edit: actually, let's make it this thread (see later pages)).
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  71. #70  
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    that was a cop out answer if I've EVER heard one.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Exactly wrong. The one thing that ‘people’ do best, is conform.
    Not necessarily. There are people who see no point in conforming. I can point at you for example: by proposing that science is indeed all wrong, as you have done in the General Discussions forum, you have chosen not to conform to normal human thought. Because you are a person, you have just demonstrated that people are not guaranteed to conform, if only because you think science is wrong.

    So, you see, you saying that people are guaranteed to conform when you yourself do not, Vexer, makes for a very interesting counterexample.
    In control lies inordinate freedom; in freedom lies inordinate control.
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    Another "can't be bothered following orders" post:

    A peer reviewed study sent out artitlces for peer review with deliberate errors in them, and mostly, they weren't spotted.

    "Peer" review is a club of Consensus. Of fashion. Not in the club - no Consensus, not published. Not fashionable.
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    Another "can't be bothered following orders" post:

    A peer reviewed study sent out artitlces for peer review with deliberate errors in them, and mostly, they weren't spotted.

    "Peer" review is a club of Consensus. Of fashion. Not in the club - no Consensus, not published. Not fashionable.
    Is there a link to your source, ore are you just making this up as you go along.
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    (hehe, I never lie)
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    Ok. I have some spare time now.



    “But peer review is not simply synonymous with quality.

    Many landmark scientific papers (like that of Watson and Crick, published just five decades ago) were never subjected to peer review..

    …and as David Shatz has pointed out, “many heavily cited papers, including some describing work which won a Nobel Prize, were originally rejected by peer review.”

    Shatz, a Yeshiva University philosophy professor, outlines some of the charges made against the referee process in his 2004 book Peer Review: A Critical Inquiry. In a word, reviewers are often not really “conversant with the published literature”; they are “biased toward papers that affirm their prior convictions”;


    (Oh, really?)

    …and they “are biased against innovation and/or are poor judges of quality.”

    Reviewers also seem biased in favor of authors from prestigious institutions. “


    (no shit)


    “Shatz describes a study in which “papers that had been published in journals by authors from prestigious institutions were retyped and resubmitted with a non-prestigious affiliation indicated for the author. Not only did referees mostly fail to recognize these previously published papers in their field, they recommended rejection.”

    Well, that's reassuring.


    The Cochrane Collaboration, an international healthcare analysis group based in the U.K., published a report in 2003 concluding that there is “little empirical evidence to support the use of editorial peer review as a mechanism to ensure quality of biomedical research, despite its widespread use and costs.”

    Crap, then.


    The Royal Society has also studied the effects of peer review. As the chairman of the investigating committee told a British newspaper in 2003, “We are all aware that some referees’ reports are not worth the paper they are written on.

    The person the PM'd me - many times - see above, and apologize.


    It’s also hard for a journal editor when reports come back that are contradictory, and it’s often down to a question of a value judgment whether something is published or not.”

    Value judgment, i.e, "Do I like it or not?"


    Perhaps the most powerful criticism of peer review is that it fails to achieve its core objective: quality control.

    Shatz describes a study in which “investigators deliberately inserted errors into a manuscript, and referees did a poor job of detecting them.”


    So I didn't make this up? And there's been at least two other similar studies. Apologies from anyone? (Or course not).


    And critics of peer review need look no further than recent high-profile papers that turned out to be hoaxes—like the massive case of scientific fraud perpetrated by South Korean stem cell researcher Hwang Woo Suk in Science.

    Peer reviewed.




    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/public...ng-peer-review


    Crap, really.
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    BMJ. 2002 May 25; 324(7348): 1271–1273.

    PMCID: PMC1123222
    Copyright © 2002, BMJ
    Peer review of statistics in medical research: the other problem
    Peter Bacchetti, professor

    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0560, USA
    pbacchetti@epi.ucsf.edu

    Summary points

    * Peer reviewers often make unfounded statistical criticisms, particularly in difficult areas such as sample size and multiple comparisons
    * These spurious statistical comments waste time and sap morale
    * Reasons include overvaluation of criticism for its own sake, inappropriate statistical dogmatism, time pressure, and lack of rewards for good peer reviewing
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    BMJ


    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/324/7348/1271


    Peer review has long been criticised for failing to identify flaws in research. Here Peter Bacchetti argues that it is also guilty of the opposite: finding flaws that are not there

    The process of peer review before publication has long been criticised for failing to prevent the publication of statistics that are wrong, unclear, or suboptimal. 1 2 My concern here, however, is not with failing to find flaws, but with the complementary problem of finding flaws that are not really there
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    New Scientist, 2008

    "Why peer review thwarts innovation"


    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...nnovation.html
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    Liongold

    You saying that people are guaranteed to conform when you yourself do not, Vexer, makes for a very interesting counterexample.

    But I am “Vexer”. You can’t use me as an example – of – anything. I don’t depend on grants, what my boss, government or Vice President thinks of me.

    97% of “scientists” do.

    They can’t afford to be truthful.
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    The New Scientist
    Volume 197, Issue 2639, 19 January 2008, Page 7


    Peer review creates obstacle for female scientists

    Women are more likely to have their research published if the referees who review their work do not know their gender


    Uh-huh.
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  82. #81  
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    I could go on, but I have other wolves to feed.



    "There are no facts, only interpretations."
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    But I am “Vexer”. You can’t use me as an example – of – anything. I don’t depend on grants, what my boss, government or Vice President thinks of me.
    Neither do I. So how does that make you exempt from me using you as an example?

    97% of “scientists” do.
    Oh, really? I hardly think a scientist such as a theoretical physicist depends on what his boss or government or even Vice President thinks of him; they can't interfere with a peer-review process. As for grants, experimenters need that, but is it possible you've never heard of the National Science Foundation?

    Besides, you said 'people', not scientists. Get your story straight before you post, at least.
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    just noticed this article, I think it's a worthy note in the peer-review systems flaws.

    A phony journal pays off a publisher to put out their BS.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Mr. Gault,

    You can take a break, while you add up the flaws in my numerous references. Per your extended, repeated, insistent, serial, ( in PM) requests. (Who says nagging doesn't work?_

    I admire your work for The Team.



    Peer review is all we've got, and it's 50/50 if it's any good at all.
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    Bump

    (Because I was harrassed so much).
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    just let it go. Peer review is a great idea, the system needs work, nuff said. Just let it go vexer, John is gone.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  88. #87  
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    Of course its not perfect. It is, however, the best system currently available. Those scientists that cannot let go of their "half-baked" ideas are few and very far between. The threat of ridicule and harsh criticism keeps them in check and the mystery-mongers and significance-junkies that are barely educated in sciences to begin with aren't even in the equation.
    i would disagree with you and will cite dr. del ratzsch and his book The Battle of Beginnings as a good source for my position.

    by the way, i see where you keep asking me for references yet you never set the example and continually post without any to back up your point of view. why is that?

    Peer review means more than just passing review for publication. It means that the most significant results are always considered to be pending independent confirmation. It also means withstanding the review of the community on publication and, if our work is noteworthy enough, it will inevitably need to withstand systematic review for inclusion in review papers and meta-analyses. The system is far from perfect, but it is invaluable
    LOOK, i know what peer review is, KEEP IN MIND that i am free 1. not to like it; 2. disagree with it; 3. feel that it is not that great a system; 4. i can reject it for its limitations and so on.

    stop trying ot FORCE peopel to accep tyour imperfect ideas and in trying to stop them from revealing how poor a system it is. it is easily manipulated so don't make it seem like it is holy and untouchable; it is far from such standards.
    These so-called "experts" here who hide behind screen names & criticize those of us who dare to suggest that they aren't always right, will NEVER furnish any credentials that can be checked out
    Steven
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  89. #88  
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    Quote Originally Posted by WVBIG
    These so-called "experts" here who hide behind screen names & criticize those of us who dare to suggest that they aren't always right, will NEVER furnish any credentials that can be checked out
    So, what are your credentials?
    Religious Fundamentalist Club - Member #1.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by WVBIG
    These so-called "experts" here who hide behind screen names & criticize those of us who dare to suggest that they aren't always right, will NEVER furnish any credentials that can be checked out
    So, what are your credentials?
    I'm not a scientist & have never claimed to be. But I think decades of experience in the outdoors can be a better qualification in Cryptozoology than formal education & degrees
    Steven
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    Quote Originally Posted by WVBIG
    I'm not a scientist & have never claimed to be. But I think decades of experience in the outdoors can be a better qualification in Cryptozoology than formal education & degrees
    Agreed. Formal education rarely leads to Cryptozoology. Certainly, wandering around in the middle of nowhere is far better an education in that field.
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    just let it go. Peer review is a great idea, the system needs work, nuff said. Just let it go vexer, John is gone.

    Ok...
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    I think of peer review like I think of those weed-out classes in college. If there was no peer review, it would be a circus trying to find valuable articles. We wouldn't have Google Scholar. I think everyone who knows what it's like trying to find articles that are relevant to your topic know that peer review is only a good thing.

    If you don't regularly search for articles, you can't understand this and I guess this is why you might not care about the peer review process.
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    There's some amazingly bad stuff that gets passed peer review. Passing peer review basically just means that your paper isn't nonsensical bullshit and that's there's a at least a small chance it will be a bit interesting to someone somewhere. Unless you're trying to publish in a top-of-the-line journal like Nature or Science, in which case your paper has to be pretty damn interesting/important.
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  95. #94 Some reasons peer-review does not impress me 
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    I am providing some examples of why I value peer-review less than the typical scientist:

    The following journals are peer-reviewed: The American Journal of Paranormal Sciences, European Journal of Parapsychology, Journal of Parapsychology, The International Journal of Parapsychology, The Journal of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies (formerly The Journal of Religion and Psychical Research), Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie und Grenzgebiete der Psychologie, and the Australian Journal of Parapsychology.

    Many articles now recognized as important were once rejected by peer-review. Hans Kreb’s description of the citric acid cycle, Urey’s research on heavy hydrogen, and Fermi’s work on beta decay were initially rejected by the same editor of Nature, but later earned them Nobel Prizes. Mitchel J. Feigenbaum describes how his revolutionary papers on chaos theory were rejected in the late 70s. He states that “papers on established subjects are immediately accepted. Every novel paper of mine, without exception, has been rejected by the refereeing process.” (1). In 1960, the journal Physical Review Letters rejected Theodore Maiman’s paper describing how to make a laser. Lynn Margulis’ paper on endosymbiotic theory was rejected by 15 journals before being published. The theory is now widely accepted. There was a resistance to the ‘new physics’. Textbooks sometimes record that Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity was immediately accepted. In fact, even up until 1769, nearly 100 years after Newton formulated the Law, efforts were still being made to falsify Newtonian theory.

    "Robbie Fox, the great 20th century editor of the Lancet, who was no admirer of peer review, wondered whether anybody would notice if he were to swap the piles marked ‘publish’ and ‘reject’. He also joked that the Lancet had a system of throwing a pile of papers down the stairs and publishing those that reached the bottom. When I was editor of the BMJ I was challenged by two of the cleverest researchers in Britain to publish an issue of the journal comprised only of papers that had failed peer review and see if anybody noticed. I wrote back ‘How do you know I haven’t already done it?’ (2).

    Good research into peer-review was absent even into 2001 when one researcher remarked, “If I manufactured a drug called peer review and applied to the Food and Drug Administration on the basis of currently available evidence, they would collapse laughing” (3).

    (1) Brown, Laurie, M., Pais, Abraham, and Pippard, Brian (Eds.). Twentieth Century Physics. New York: American Institute of Physics Press, 1995, p. 1850.

    (2) Smith, R. (2006). Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 99, 178-182.

    (3) Jefferson, T. (2001). Corrections and clarifications. Science, 294, 1463.
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    To be fair about one of those points, Lynn Margulis had very little proof to support the endosymbiotic theory when she first proposed it, and it probably did deserve to be rejected. It should also be made clear that Margulis's version of the endosymbiotic theory is not the same as the one accepted by the biological community at large. She also proposed that peroxisomes and the nucleus are endosymbiotes, and that evolution is driven by symbiosis, these ideas are more fringe science. She has a tendency to be involved in fringe science. She is probably right about mitochondria and chloroplast having symbiotic origins.
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    First the meat.

    Margulis may believe the nucleus also arose through endosymbiosis, but I am not sure the idea originated with her. See Lake, J.A. et al, Was the Nucleus the First Endosymbiote PNAS vol. 91 1994 and Lake, J. A. Mapping evolution with ribosome structure: intralineage constancy and interlineage variation PNAS vol. 79 1982
    He makes reference to the work of Pfeffer, Boveri, and Mereschowsky in the period from 1900 to 1910, who all considered the nucleus may have arisen through symbiosis. Clearly this predates Margulis by a considerable margin.


    Now an aside for the record.

    Vexer accused me of harassing him by pm for citations to support his claims about peer review.
    I did not harass him. I reminded him politely (once) that he had failed to provide the requested citations.
    He then initiated a series of excuses before finally offering a wide range of citations - more indeed than I expected or required.
    At no time, contrary to his claims, did I state I that I disputed (or agreed with) his claims. I merely wished to have some referenced material to evaluate personally. He would have saved himself, myself and the forum a deal of trouble if he had responded promptly.
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    It was more than once, John.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    The only real point of peer review is to certify that it isn't obvious nonsense or bullshit, and that reading it and trying to understand it is therefor worth a scientist's (hopefully) valuable time. A lot of stuff that's very questionable still gets published in peer-reviewed journals, but you can be pretty confident that there at least aren't any glaring problems with the work.
    The problem I find with your view is that you are considering it not unlikely that a recognizable number of academics can't write good papers. However, this is a huge insult to the entire academic system. People with PhDs have proved their ability to perforum high quality research and write high quality papers. They have worked very hard for the right to share their research with the rest of academia. What you are saying is that a not insignificant percentage of graduate schools are granting degress to people who don't deserve them.

    Furthermore, pre-publication peer-review is not necessary to weed out the bullshit; post-publication peer-review will have the same effect without discriminating against academics who say something the reviewer personally dislikes. When articles were published exclusively on paper there was good reason to have peer-review: limited space. However, the internet has for all practical purposes generated unlimited space. Thus, the "limited space" argument is no longer valid.

    There are numerous studies demonstrating that reviewers' perception of something as "bullshit" is often not based on science, but ideology, personal values, or whether the hypothesis was confirmed or disconfirmed. My belief, which I think will be shared by most of you, is that if a paper contained research testing telepathy and found evidence to support it, the paper will probably not be published in a mainstream science journal. However, if the researchers switched the statement "hypothesis confirmed" to "hypothesis not confirmed" there is a greater likelihood it will be considered good science and published in a mainstream journal.

    Edit: Why is this thread in the history section? I am sure there is a more suitable spot for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    There's some amazingly bad stuff that gets passed peer review. Passing peer review basically just means that your paper isn't nonsensical bullshit and that's there's a at least a small chance it will be a bit interesting to someone somewhere. Unless you're trying to publish in a top-of-the-line journal like Nature or Science, in which case your paper has to be pretty damn interesting/important.
    It is true that bad stuff passes review, and, if ufcarazy's sources are accurate there is good stuff that is rejected by peer-review. So, if crap is sometimes published, and gold is sometimes rejected, then why have peer-review?

    One of the primary reasons Nature and Science are given high status because they reject a high volume of papers; it's tough to get a paper published by them. The reason they reject more papers than any other journal is because more papers are submitted to them compared to other journals and they cannot publish all of them. Finally, the reason so many articles are submitted to them is because of their perceived high status. Do you see what's going on here?
    Intelligence is fundamental to science, and independent thought.
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