Does reliability of published works decrease with journal rank?
|February 22, 2018||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Peer review|
From neuroscientist (zoology) Björn Brembs at Frontier in Human Neuroscience:
In which journal a scientist publishes is considered one of the most crucial factors determining their career. The underlying common assumption is that only the best scientists manage to publish in a highly selective tier of the most prestigious journals. However, data from several lines of evidence suggest that the methodological quality of scientific experiments does not increase with increasing rank of the journal. On the contrary, an accumulating body of evidence suggests the inverse: methodological quality and, consequently, reliability of published research works in several fields may be decreasing with increasing journal rank. The data supporting these conclusions circumvent confounding factors such as increased readership and scrutiny for these journals, focusing instead on quantifiable indicators of methodological soundness in the published literature, relying on, in part, semi-automated data extraction from often thousands of publications at a time. With the accumulating evidence over the last decade grew the realization that the very existence of scholarly journals, due to their inherent hierarchy, constitutes one of the major threats to publicly funded science: hiring, promoting and funding scientists who publish unreliable science eventually erodes public trust in science. – Front. Hum. Neurosci., 20 February 2018 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00037More.
We should wonder why this stuff isn’t a way bigger scandal. That’s what unthinking piety does to a field, and unthinking piety toward science is what much of the current popular science media promotes.
At Nature: Change how we judge research. Hmm… Using this scheme, what would protect the researcher who submits the suggested bio-sketch from becoming a target for political reasons that are unrelated to research quality? Think Jordan B. Peterson. or Gunter Bechly. Or anyone who sounds like a risk for blowing the whistle on corruption. The fate of whistleblowers is already often grim.
Does it matter in science if no one can replicate your results?