Scientific peer review: an ineffective and unworthy institution

#1
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blo...nstitution

EXCERPT: Given the entirely appropriate degree of respect that science has for data, the ongoing discussion of peer review is often surprisingly data-free and underlain by the implicit assumption that peer review – although in need of improvement – is indispensable.

The thing is, the peer review of scientific reports is not only without documented value in advancing the scientific enterprise but, in a manner that few care to acknowledge openly, primarily serves ends that are less than noble. Peer review is widely assumed to provide an imprimatur of scientific quality (and significance) for a publication, but this is clearly not the case.

While the many flaws of peer review are clearly laid out in the literature, its failure to protect the integrity of the scientific enterprise is notable....

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#2
(Dec 12, 2017 03:55 AM)C C Wrote: Given the entirely appropriate degree of respect that science has for data, the ongoing discussion of peer review is often surprisingly data-free and underlain by the implicit assumption that peer review – although in need of improvement – is indispensable.

Indispensible is a strong word. Valuable and important might be better word choices.

I'm not 100% convinced that peer review is necessary and effective in every single instance (there's the replication crisis and all the horror stories of total bullshit being published in peer-reviewed journals), but I'd like to see some proposals for what might replace it. Until we have viable alternatives, peer review might be the best we have.

Quote:The thing is, the peer review of scientific reports is not only without documented value in advancing the scientific enterprise

It weeds out abject crankery and obvious logical and methodological defects. It requires that papers meet (at least superficially) the standards of the profession. If peer reviewers aren't in a position to make that judgment, why should we think that they are in the position to grade student papers and approve dissertations at the universities where most of them teach?

Quote:but, in a manner that few care to acknowledge openly, primarily serves ends that are less than noble. Peer review is widely assumed to provide an imprimatur of scientific quality (and significance) for a publication, but this is clearly not the case.

It's an indication that somebody thought that a paper is worthy of consideration. It isn't an indication that what the paper says is correct, let alone significant.
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