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From Nature: PubPeer phantom appears, gives name



Pioneer behind controversial PubPeer site reveals his identity

Since launching in 2012, the website PubPeer has become a hub for post-publication peer review — often via anonymous posts. More than 35,000 comments have been posted so far and in the process the site has become a vehicle for making allegations of misconduct, and has even attracted a lawsuit.

One of the site’s previously anonymous founders has now revealed his identity — Brandon Stell, a neuroscientist at the French national science organization CNRS in Paris.

Will you ever require commenters to be open about their identities? I can’t see that ever happening, but I don’t want to talk in definitives. In an ideal world, we would all be very comfortable commenting on PubPeer using our own names. Unfortunately, there are a huge number of people out there who are not comfortable writing comments on their colleague’s papers unless they are anonymous.

Yeah, it’s that bitch of a problem about having to eat and pay the rent.

Did you expect that PubPeer would play such a large part in flagging potential misconduct? No, the number of posts highlighting possible misconduct surprised us. Clearly, existing procedures are ineffective at resolving these issues. Nevertheless, PubPeer is suitable for any and all discussion about experimental design and interpretation. More

It’s the way of the future, as Stell says. The Internet is just not well suited to the secret assassination of ideas  and evidence.

Note: News blogging light until late this evening, due to O’Leary for News other day job.

See also: If peer review is working, why all the retractions?

Psychology, we are told, is NOT in crisis (Sure, and that guy who got done for DUI is NOT in denial when he says he has no problem with alcohol.)


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