Weekend reads: Aussie scientists bend rules; how to fix peer review once and for all; crazy structure alert

booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction of 11 papers by a controversial researcher in Italy, and a look at the controversy over lead in the water supply. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

One thought on “Weekend reads: Aussie scientists bend rules; how to fix peer review once and for all; crazy structure alert”

  1. I found this selection of good reads outstanding! Unfortunately I cannot read all of them. I would like to make comments on two of them:

    1) Concerning this interesting paper on how to fix peer review, I should comment on what I was taught about peer review when still a student in Brazil. I was told it was always double-blind and that editors search for the best reviewers in the field based on their experience. (which actually was true in many local journals at the time). Took me years to realise quite often it is usually not blind to reviewers, and I still remember how shocked I was when inquired about “potential reviewers” for my paper upon submission. Or when my advisor at the time asked a colleague to review a paper in his place, from authors we knew well. Just the other day I still was uneasy when Nature offered the “new option” of opting for a double-blind peer review. Many of my younger colleagues back in my country still believe a blind, unbiased process is the standard practice.

    2) Concerning “Is peer review just a crapshoot?” I find the survey highly biased, considering publishers are directly economically interested in the obtained conclusion that peer review with editors is efficient. There is no control behind the quality of peer review, and it puzzles me why data was so narrow when the publisher could have analysed much more info from other journals. Also why Chinese authors were the only group focused on?

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