Read this and then ask yourself, why is historic journal Nature freaked out over American public school science classrooms – again?
From Richard Harris at NPR:
Another concern is that today scientists are judged primarily by which journal publishes their work. The greatest rewards tend to go to scientists who can get their papers into major journals such as Science, Nature and Cell. It matters less what the actual findings are.
“To me that is one of the very biggest problems in the system today,” says Erin O’Shea, president of HHMI, “and it drives a lot of behavior — behavior that we don’t want.”
And if a top journal reviews a paper and decides not to publish it, the scientist needs to start the process of getting to print all over again — which is a waste of resources. “Science moves slower because research isn’t available immediately,” O’Shea said at the meeting. “To me, those are big problems.” More.
They are indeed big problems. Perhaps it is no surprise that with all this stuff crying out for reform, major science journals that are implicated would rather worry about science education in Florida, over which they have only elite opinion influence.
See also: Historic journal Nature is freaked out over American public school science classrooms – again. Idea: Why don’t we wait to see whether the new standards are more rigorous? For decades, the United States has spent more on education and got less for it than most Western nations. We can afford a bit of time to seeing whether a new broom sweeps cleaner.
Just for fun: Possible school field trip in Florida … from a safe distance, to be sure.
4 Replies to “If science journals can’t solve their own problems, why are they dictating to Florida parents?”
Science journals, and other academic journals, are suffering from the same pressures that print media is. Back when the print version was the only one available, journals made their money from libraries buying them and from authors having to pay to be published. Nice gig if you can get it.
With the internet, it has become a competition to attract authors, where before it was a competition amongst authors for limited journal space. I published my first paper in a Springer journal in over thirty years. I can say that it was rigorously reviewed, but I am sure that this varies significantly depending on the review panel. The eye opener was when, six months later, I was asked to review a manuscript submitted to the same journal. I have published a total of four science papers, three of them in the mid eighties, and they looked to me to review a paper. I did my best job, but why in hell would they ask me to do this? Certainly not based on my productivity or credentials.
In addition to this, a week hasn’t gone by in which I don’t receive an unsolicited email from different journals asking me to submit a manuscript. That doesn’t speak well for the publication business.
You are right, Molson Bleu at 1. The internet changed everything, the way Gutenberg did, and it takes some time for institutions to re-establish quality controls. Often, a generation or two must pass. I write about this last year in the context of fake news.
That said, in this and other areas, one would like to hear fewer pious promises of reform and more concrete, workable proposals.
Also, fewer distractions please! Their worrying about what is happening in Florida classrooms is offputting when they cannot endorse the practices at most science journals – about which they should have more control if they are worth listening to in the first place.
Actually News, the internet allows anyone, and everyone to publish almost anything.
This indeed sounds like a good thing, and in many ways it is, and has broadened lives, and enabled people to voice criticisms, particularly political ones.
You however, are saying that the internet has energised the people to become involved in absolutely any, and all debate.
Again, on the face of it a good thing, until…..
Until what? Until you need detailed researched, respected, backed up, sourced, reliable facts.
When this is needed the people I go to are the scientists, auto-electricians, physcists, doctors, engineers, and all the specialists, with years of study, or practice.
When you need trust News, Nature, and NCSE are more reliable than, http://www.IDthefuture.com, (Not a real site:).
Unlike you, I do indeed, ‘trust’ academia. Even with all its faults, it’s been tested over hundreds of years. You, and especially the chaotic internet, have not.
The NCSE is just a propaganda mill. They wouldn’t know science if it hit them in the face.