News Peer review

“Scientists are probably the best judges of science, but they are pretty bad at it.”

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The findings, say the authors, show that scientists are unreliable judges of the importance of a scientific publication: they rarely agree on the importance of a particular paper and are strongly influenced by where the paper is published, over-rating science published in high-profile scientific journals. Furthermore, the authors show that the number of times a paper is subsequently referred to by other scientists bears little relation to the underlying merit of the science.

11 Replies to ““Scientists are probably the best judges of science, but they are pretty bad at it.”

  1. 1
    Gregory says:

    ‘Scientists are idiots and journalists are geniuses.’

    No blatant biases from UD’s ‘News’ (who is a journalist) though. 😉

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    OT:

    Today on the Michael Medved Show, Wesley Smith and John West Will Discuss the Roots of the “War on Humans”
    Excerpt: Join Michael Medved, Wesley Smith and Center for Science & Culture associate director Dr. John West, at 1 pm Pacific time or 4 pm Eastern, for an important discussion. Listen to the Michael Medved Show live on the radio, or online by going here.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....77731.html

  3. 3
    Querius says:

    Apparently, scientists are only human. 😉

  4. 4
    PaV says:

    Gregory,

    It sounds like you’re a scientist, and not a journalist.

    The whole point here is that ‘peer-review’ is not all it’s stacked up to be.

  5. 5
    Gregory says:

    PaV,

    “It sounds like you’re a scientist, and not a journalist.

    The whole point here is that ‘peer-review’ is not all it’s stacked up to be.”

    Yes, I’m an active scholar, researcher, teacher.

    You’re not telling us anything we don’t already know; peer-review is not flawless and never has been.

    IDists, however, have failed in peer-review, not just because they are right-wing, conservative ‘thinkers’, but because they are quasi-scientific ‘rebels’ who have not ‘proven’ their case.

    The man who hides with Expelled Syndrome behind the name ‘timaeus’ here is a fine example. A right-wing, conservative, religious studies ex-scholar. Who will publish him except IDist-friendly magazines?

    Denyse O’Leary *could* in principle (if she was actually curious) connect with credible scholars globally in the Roman Catholic Christian tradition that she has embraced. American evolutionist Michael Behe, sadly, has distanced himself from this by embracing IDism as a ‘Scientific Revolution’ ideology. There are masses of others that would help to correct her from the fanaticism of IDism, if only she would open her eyes, ears and heart.

    Will she? Instead, hating by activist journalism against academia seems to be what she thinks her current calling is.

  6. 6
    PaV says:

    Gregory,

    That was some kind of rant you just gave.

    The whole question here is this: are ‘peer reviewed’ journals better than ‘non peer reviewed’ journals? The authors—not some IDist; not Denyse O’Leary—conclude that it is not: that it is error-prone and subjective.

    Their point is that peer-review is not only “not flawless,” but, even more, it’s a waste of time and money. Isn’t that a serious charge? (Even if it’s an IDist pointing this out?).

    Let’s look at what you wrote:

    “IDists, however, have failed in peer-review, not just because they are right-wing, conservative ‘thinkers’, but because they are quasi-scientific ‘rebels’ who have not ‘proven’ their case.”

    Is your point this: the reason you won’t find ID articles in ‘peer-review’ journals is because they haven’t ‘proven’ their case?

    Well, let’s apply this to what might have happened in the field of geology many years ago if this sort of thinking prevailed:
    “The reason why articles on “continental drift” are not found in journals is because they haven’t ‘proven’ their case.”

    Now, if that is what ‘peer-reviewed’ journals had actually done, then how in the world would ‘continental drift’ have ever come to be the accepted understanding of biogeographical distributions?

    If you censure a point of view, then that point of view cannot be propagated. If journals never publish points of view that are at variance with conventional wisdom, then how in the world can the scientific community ever move beyond the then current ‘conventional wisdom’?

    Having written this: “There are masses of others that would help to correct her from the fanaticism of IDism, if only she would open her eyes, ears and heart. . . , ” I think it is you who appear to be rather ‘fanatical’ in your views. Is this because, for you, Darwinism/evol. biol. has become an ‘ideology’? Maybe it’s time for YOU to open your eyes and ears.

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Gregory speculates

    IDists, however, have failed in peer-review, not just because they are right-wing, conservative ‘thinkers’, but because they are quasi-scientific ‘rebels’ who have not ‘proven’ their case.

    Not just? So, in your view there’s also a necessary correlation between having your research published and your political views? Charming.

    Are “rebels” those people who challenge popular scientific thinking, and thus richly deserve your “quasi-scientific” label?

    So, please explain to us why Watson and Crick did not submit their unproven ideas about DNA to a peer-review before publication in Nature? Were they afraid perhaps of being labeled as “quasi-scientific rebels” by people with a similar viewpoint as your own?

    “Physician, heal thyself.” – Ancient proverb

    “We has met the enemy and he is us.” – Pogo

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    PaV, you beat me to the punch! lol

  9. 9
    Robert Byers says:

    No successful thinker with results in invention or discovery would ever care about peer review.
    When your right you know your right. Your way ahead. The peerage is irrelevant.
    Peer review needs are needed because cases are being made but not made clearly by the facts.
    Peer review is itself the evidence of problems with evidence in science.
    Its not evident and needs a thumbs up from others who wewre employed elsewise.
    So it requires opinions by less able people dealing in papers that struggle in difficult matters to demonstrate their conclusions.

  10. 10
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @PaV:

    The whole question here is this: are ‘peer reviewed’ journals better than ‘non peer reviewed’ journals? The authors—not some IDist; not Denyse O’Leary—conclude that it is not: that it is error-prone and subjective.

    What article are you talking about? Citation please.

  11. 11
    Mung says:

    PaV, Given the current location of Gregory’s head it’s probably best he keep his eyes and ears closed.

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