Tag Archive | science

Link: Bad reviews: The perils of modern peer reviews


We’ve tackled the topics of open access, as it relates, funding. But we’ve recently come across an interesting spin on the familiar topics in Significance Magazine‘s “Bad reviews: The perils of modern peer review” from contributor Carlos Alberto Gómez Grajales.

In the article, Grajales talks about the shifting process through which scientific publications place increased emphasis on electronic formats to dispense its content with a reduced or non-existent cost to readers.

Grajales highlights a project by John Bohannon (Harvard Universitybased biologist and science journalist) where he distributed fake scientific articles to online journals in order to test the effectiveness of the review process. “Out of 304 submissions made throughout a period of six months, 157 of the journals (about half) had accepted the paper, 98 rejected it. Of the 49 journals that remain, 29 appeared to be no longer operative and 20 were still evaluating the merit of the text.” Read the hoax in full in Sciences Oct 4 Issue or online.

One of the complications with the pay-to-publish model lies in the possibility of an ineffective review processes. This is why reviews are important, because we need to criticize each other, not for confronting, nor for glory, but because a fine review is a nice intellectual conversation in which both parties learn from each other.”One journal that approved the fake article, was ready to charge $3,100 USD for publication fees. 

Sound off: Has open access changed how you publish? What’s your review of Grajales conclusions and Bohannon’s findings?

Guardian special section on science funding

Funding is something that effects all authors whether we work for research institutions, government agencies,  or non-profits.

The Guardian has complied a group of articles about the state of science funding. This special section features many fascinating pieces covering the “crisis.”

Here are some pieces of note:

The Huffington Post published a related article, entitled “Sequestration Ushers In A Dark Age For Science In America.”

BusinessWeek published an article related to the recent Noble Prize announcements: “American Nobel Winners Fear for Research as Funding Cut

How does funding effect the work that you do?  Do you have any tips to share with colleagues?  If so, write in the comments section. We’d love to hear what you think.