Weekend reads: A peer reviewer goes on strike; why science should be more boring; publish or perish = less quality

booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured an economist being asked to review his own paper, and a new member of our leaderboard. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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3 thoughts on “Weekend reads: A peer reviewer goes on strike; why science should be more boring; publish or perish = less quality”

  1. Academic papers would also be easier to read if they used internally consistent English – e.g. “use fewer adverbs” not “use less adverbs” (fewer should be used with countable sounds; less with mass nouns – e.g. fewer pebbles vs. less gravel).

  2. Re Dave Fernig strike:

    There have been more than one report of a reviewer stealing an article and claiming its credit. How will such a possibility be prevented if data sharing policy is implemented? How are author’s right protected during manuscripts processing?

    1. There may be a misunderstanding here of what is meant by “data sharing” here. In this context, Fernig is talking about the framework for ensuring that data underlying a paper’s findings are openly available *after* the paper is published. It doesn’t involve the public disclosure of the manuscript’s contents or raw data prior to review or publication.

      Speaking to the unrelated problem of unethical peer reviewers stealing manuscripts and taking credit for them, it’s something that’s fundamentally impossible to block by technical means. You have to give a peer reviewer the manuscript if you want them to be able to review it. On the bright side, the manuscript tracking systems used by most journals today make it much easier to verify who submitted what text, data, and figures when–which makes it relatively straightforward to confirm who the original authors are in the (fortunately rare) event of reviewer misconduct.

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