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What if journal names were concealed?

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So one does not know where information is published, only whether it seems useful? And, above all, whether it survived attempts at replication? It’s good to see so many thinkers putting their heads together about the scandal of peer review.

From Nature,

Scientists debate the merits of deleting journal names from their publication lists.

One UCal biologist, Michael Eisen, has removed the names for his lab’s Web site.

Eisen’s move is part of a broader push to assess papers on their own merits. “We have become far too reliant on journal names as a means to evaluate science and scientists,” Eisen said in an interview. After writing about this issue for so long, he “felt it was important to demonstrate to people that I meant it”. “If everyone hid journal names from their CVs and grant applications, it would go a long way.”

A neuroscientist. Dennis Eckmeier, has done the same at his personal website. Some disparage this would-be trend:

But Claus Wilke, an integrative biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote in a blog post that omitting journal names is counterproductive. “Hiding journal names from the publication list is directly at odds with the principles of openness and egalitarianism that people like Michael Eisen so strongly promote,” he wrote.More.

Excuse me, Dr. Wilke, but it’s quite easy to find out where any paper with a citation was published, without the journal name. I found the linked article just by clicking on a subtitle.

What’s not so easy, if Eisen’s trend spreads, is the one-off dismissal of anything not published in a “name” journal—and the sprayed-on lustre of anything that is.

Critically, what difference does it make if you know that it was published in Science versus Northeastern University Science Journal? That’s why we have blind competitions of any kind.

So the question is, what’s a name worth? What backs it up? That’s why this is part of the same cluster of issues as the growing number of retractions.

See also: Does authorship abuse contribute to ongoing peer review scandal? The current atmosphere probably contributes to the problem that replication studies are unpopular. Who wants to honestly fail to replicate a top boffin’s findings?

Replication as key science reform?

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One Reply to “What if journal names were concealed?

  1. 1
    Jim Smith says:

    They should stop publishing in journals. With the internet they can just post their papers and raw data on-line. Journals don’t provide any useful “seal of approval” since the advent of gibberish computer generated papers and peer-review fraud.

    Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers: “The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.”

    The New England Journal of Medicine: “In August 2015, the publisher Springer retracted 64 articles from 10 different subscription journals “after editorial checks spotted fake email addresses, and subsequent internal investigations uncovered fabricated peer review reports,” according to a statement on their website.1 The retractions came only months after BioMed Central, an open-access publisher also owned by Springer, retracted 43 articles for the same reason.”

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