Peer-review revisited. The last journals’ scandals effect

Peer-review revisited. The last journals’ scandals effectLately there have been some scandals regarding some low quality academic publications or fraud involving several journals, an issue that is not new and that is affecting the current model of journals and peer-review system. So much so that The Economist has written an interesting and intricate article on this subject (How science goes wrong), in which scolds the industry, coming to say that:

  1. Peer-review system is not enough to guarantee the quality of research
  2. It is important that research results can be replicated, and in many cases have not been made by tech firms, because data were allegedly manipulated.
  3. Also blames journals, which may be selecting the more sensational or interesting articles for their readers.

To solve this problem it raises fairly complex ideas, difficult to implement in practice from my point of view for all fields of knowledge, such as including a system of post-publication evaluation, or even registering the research protocols, so it can be monitored and trial data can be tested and inspected.

Currently, publish in journals is an elephant pregnancy, 22 months: once the draft research is ready, it must be passes to a paper format, with the following peers and co-authors revisions; then you have to choose the right journal; adjust the paper to its specific format and translate  it to the proper language, if necessary; then you have to send it to the journal, which usually have up to 90% of rejections, and take up to a year to be re-reviewed and eventually accepted.

Therefore, I think that complicate the process would be counterproductive, but I agree that something certainly should be done because this system gives rise to errors and fraud, which could lead to a slower advance of science and humanity.

As a researcher in finance, it comes to my mind the implementation of corporate governance practices but applied to academic journals and research (Journal Governance), which is somehow already being done. The prevailing logic would be that journal practices are aligned with each other, as well as with the academic environment in which they operate.

(It will continue.)

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10 Responses to Peer-review revisited. The last journals’ scandals effect

  1. Have any one thought why such dishonesty arises in research? The reason behind can be that present Era of Science is going to an end due to the fact that present Science can not solve burning problems of our universe such as Climate Change,Global Warning etc. This is due to the fact present science is based on 17th century calculus as Non Church function and not Church Function of 20th century calculus? When Scientists became dishonest then as published work appear in Journals?

  2. I must relieve: post-publication evaluation, open to the community should be a good thing. And the “elephant pregnacy” that makes the poor scientist to await for years to achieve recognisition (if he does not resign or dies before) shows the middle-age era we are living. Who pre-publish in http://www.arxiv.org (only a 48 h delay) is certainly marked to never be recognised by journals, a “whitch” of our era.

  3. Whenever Era of universe of any kind either in Academic/publish life happens/happened ,mostly such people became dishonest. such persons want to remain superior to others either they deserve or otherwise? The same happens at present time just you Professor Jose mentioned in your comments. I have already gone such phenomenon just after the death of Professor Laurent Schwartz in 2002. Even when he was alive even my future plans of future research was said to be done at Oberwolfach Meeting in 1989 but Germans were not involved nor Professor Zemanian from USA. Such persons never care about honesty as they want to remain on light in the eyes of coming generations. Thanks for Jose for your comments.

  4. The “one year” to publication is probably true for a few excellent papers in average journals. I think anything between three to six years from the first submission to the paper publication would be more realistic.
    As a frequent reviewer, I cannot see how I would be provided the funding to replicate the results of someone who has access to large funding.
    So, any suggestion of more laborious reviews should take into account what the impact would be.
    This raises the question of the purpose of journals: is it to raise debate or end debate. In business theory, at least, the debate never ends. Thankfully.

  5. In France since before long,C.R.Acd.Sciences(Paris) publish research papers even day to day provided communicated person views at the earliest due to important work in search. I have already published two research papers in this proceeding as J.L.Lavoine & O.P.Misra Communicated by Professor Laurent Schwartz. Thereby, Honesty should be main criteria of Editor/Reviewer

  6. I must add a comment on desirable transparency from journals: the rejected papers could be published with the comments on why the decision was such, its appeals, up to the final decision. I do not ask for further discussion being available, just to be public. In internet’s era, it is not very costly to provide this information to the public.

  7. Now a days dishonesty appears every where either in Journals or in research work? The reasons behind can be due to the fact when US birth Logician says whole Science & Technology can be based on Non-Church Function having deficiencies in definition & structure of Function and not by Church Function of 20th century calculus.

  8. Thank you Sirs for your insightful comments and interesting ideas about this important issue of peer-review. For example I found transparency as a key driver of these changes in the system.

  9. In my views if you can carry on practical applications to the needed & burning problems of present time,one can get success from issue of peer-review. This also definitely can change system as mentioned. It can also be true way to an reply to the dishonest Scientists involved in Sciences. On the other hand, Professor Armen H. Zemanian( USA) followed one path first of all publish your work as report then do publications in Journals. But Authors of research papers of present time
    fare that his/her publications do not match such standard.

  10. Present Scientists do not want forthcoming technology to our burning problems due to the fact their essence of research would disappear as this is an end of era of Science since 17th century to present science The American Logician Alonzo Church work(1941) can be witness of my comments. Also, Plagiarism software are being used to find suitability of research work and this can be first witness of scandal in research papers to misguide the coming generations. If we can not stop such activity then future of all sciences would be very dark.

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