I cannot read it and agree with claims that peer review “is broken” and does not work. Such claims are at best oversimplifying the problems and selectively excluding evidence.
Which publications are citable?
The number of references to a scientific publication is frequently used as an objective measure for the significance of the publication. This metric is far less precise than it may appear and in the short/medium-term it certainly fails to capture the most visionary and creative research. Consider, for example, that the publications of Richard Feynman … Continue reading Which publications are citable?
High quality journals with low quality peer-reviews
There is much outcry about the increasing competition in scientific research. Yet, I do not hear comparable outcry about the increasing competition in the Olympic 100-meters dash. I see competition as a very powerful driving force; whether it drives positive or negative changes depends on our metrics and the system. Unlike the metrics for the Olympic … Continue reading High quality journals with low quality peer-reviews
“Publishing in PLOS Genetics will hurt my reputation”
I have heard extreme opinions defending and opposing the importance of scientific journals and magazines. The extremes have desensitized my reaction. Yet, this opinion shocked me: "Publishing in PLOS Genetics will hurt my reputation." I am so shocked as not to be sure what to make out of it. Perhaps the reputation of Enrico Fermi … Continue reading “Publishing in PLOS Genetics will hurt my reputation”
Respect for the limits of quantification
Maybe in our efforts to be quantitative and objective, we have focused on what can be easily quantified (quantity) and pretended that it reflects what really counts (quality). A measure of humility and realignment is in order if we are to preserve and further the research enterprise.
Papers that triumphed over their rejections
Kary Mullis: I knew PCR would spread across the world like wild fire. This time there was no doubt in my mind: Nature would publish it. They rejected it. So did Science ... Fuck them, I said
Tell me about the science, not the prizes!
One might introduce Egas Moniz as the great Nobel laureate and Dmitri Mendeleev as a chemist with few great awards. Much more informatively, however, one should introduce Egas Moniz as an influential protagonist of lobotomy and Dmitri Mendeleev as the co-inventor of the periodic table of elements.