Intelligent Design Peer review

At Retraction Watch: … a massive list of retractions due to peer review rings

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Here: “Exclusive: Hindawi and Wiley to retract over 500 papers linked to peer review rings”

Hindawi’s research integrity team found several signs of manipulated peer reviews for the affected papers, including reviews that contained duplicated text, a few individuals who did a lot of reviews, reviewers who turned in their reviews extremely quickly, and misuse of databases that publishers use to vet potential reviewers.

Ironically, it’s easier to trust science when we see something being done about fraud. Elite demands for blind trust don’t have anywhere near the same effect.

You may also wish to read: The hyper-specialization of university researchers. Jeffrey Funk and Gary Smith: So many papers are published today in increasingly narrow specialties that, if there is still a big picture, hardly anyone can see it. Researchers who do not know what is happening outside their own specialty can end up using discredited methods that they don’t even know are discredited.

3 Replies to “At Retraction Watch: … a massive list of retractions due to peer review rings

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    I seem to remember that back in the ’80s or 90s, there were concerns that published papers were written in the jargon of a particular field to the extent that they were almost incomprehensible to experts in neighboring fields. As an experiment, the journal Nature took a representative sample paper and had it translated into a more generalized English and published alongside the original. They invited comments which revealed, not surprisingly, that the experts in the field found the original more comprehensible than the translation and the non-experts found the reverse was true.

    But this is not a new problem..

    In his SF novel, The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950), A E van Vogt foresaw the same problem and introduced the concept of the Nexialist, a generalist who was trained to combine the knowledge of many different disciplines to reveal insights that would not have been obvious to specialists in the different fields.

    Today we have the phenomenon of experts in a particular disciple feeling that their expertise entitles their comments to be treated as being as authoritative as specialists in that field, which they are not necessarily. We have the example of Neil de Grasse Tyson commenting about incidents in the history of European which have been heavily criticized by professional historians of science as misleading.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    I seem to remember that back in the ’80s or 90s, there were concerns that published papers were written in the jargon of a particular field to the extent that they were almost incomprehensible to experts in neighboring fields. As an experiment, the journal Nature took a representative sample paper and had it translated into a more generalized English and published alongside the original. They invited comments which revealed, not surprisingly, that the experts in the field found the original more comprehensible than the translation and the non-experts found the reverse was true.

    But this is not a new problem..

    In his SF novel, The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950), A E van Vogt foresaw the same problem and introduced the concept of the Nexialist, a generalist who was trained to combine the knowledge of many different disciplines to reveal insights that would not have been obvious to specialists in the different fields.

    Today we have the phenomenon of experts in a particular disciple feeling that their expertise entitles their comments to be treated as being as authoritative as specialists in that field, which they are not necessarily. We have the example of Neil de Grasse Tyson commenting about incidents in the history of European science which have been heavily criticized by professional historians of science as misleading.

  3. 3
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Regarding whether Dr Neil Degrasse Tyson is misleading, I suggerst that Dr Tyson’s misquoting of former President Bush in order to paint him as an anti moslem bigot, (and then his silly B.S. attempt to avoid making an appology) would make anyone with half a brain disbelieve him.

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