Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Why Peer Review Does Not Mean Much

I have always found that when it comes to history journals, peer review means "conforms to the prejudices and assumptions of the status quo" which is why Michael Bellesiles had no problem getting outright lies published.  Now we see bigger problems.  From August 18, 2015 Washington
Post
:
Made-up identities assigned to fake e-mail addresses. Real identities stolen for fraudulent reviews. Study authors who write glowing reviews of their own research, then pass them off as an independent report.

These are the tactics of peer review manipulators, an apparently growing problem in the world of academic publishing.

Peer review is supposed to be the pride of the rigorous academic publishing process. Journals get every paper reviewed and approved by experts in the field, ensuring that problematic research doesn’t make it to print.

But increasingly journals are finding out that those supposedly authoritative checks are being rigged.
In the latest episode of the fake peer review phenomenon, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, Springer, has retracted 64 articles from 10 of its journals after discovering that their reviews were linked to fake e-mail addresses. The announcement comes nine months after 43 studies were retracted by BioMed Central (one of Springer’s imprints) for the same reason.

3 comments:

James Gibson said...

In short the Academic left has concluded they can't even rely on the Academic left to go along with their research conclusions. So they have to forge other academics names and or create their own good reviews. And these are the supportive- Good- reviews. One has to wonder how many bad reviews of peoples research is in fact from fake addresses and under false names.

PhaseMargin said...

Having been a reviewer in the past, I have to say that it's often a thankless task. You don't have access to the actual data to double check the results. At best, your ability to check the results is extremely limited, and in the Social Sciences you can't even check to see if they did their equations correctly.

So I feel for the reviewers in that there's relatively little you can do to check the work of social sciences in particular. At best, you can check to see that their citations are correct and, in general, that they used appropriate tests for significance and generally good experimental procedure. But detecting fraud? Highly unlikely.

James said...

Check out http://retractionwatch.com/ for lots, lots, more of this stuff.