Articles on Peer Review

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Normal day for a scientist at work. Offices in the United States

How science can beat the flawed metric that rules it

In order to improve something, we need to be able to measure its quality. This is true in public policy, in commercial industries, and also in science. Like other fields, science has a growing need for…
What exactly is peer review? Flickr/AJ Cann

Explainer: what is peer review?

We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean? How does it work? Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s…
This has been replaced by one number, sadly. cifor

Time to discard the metric that decides how science is rated

Scientists, like other professionals, need ways to evaluate themselves and their colleagues. These evaluations are necessary for better everyday management: hiring, promotions, awarding grants and so on…
Peer review? No thanks. thierry ehrmann

Hate the peer-review process? Einstein did too

Most academic papers today are published only after some academic peers have had a chance to review the merits and limitations of the work. This seems like a good idea, but there is a growing movement…
Randy Schekman: I will not publish in Nature, Science and Cell. James Kegley

Schekman’s ‘luxury journal’ boycott doesn’t go far enough

Recipients of this year’s Nobel Prizes converged on Stockholm to receive their medals, dine with the King and Queen, and be treated like the scientific royalty. For most this time is, understandably, about…
Isn’t open access better? fuzzcaminski

Flawed sting operation singles out open access journals

In a sting operation, John Bohannon, a correspondent of Science, claims to have exposed dodgy open access journals. His argument seems to be that, because of their business model, some journals are biased…
Chasing Ice is trying to get us out of the climate change hole we’ve dug for ourselves. EPA/Baard Ness

Chasing Ice bewitches eyes but won’t change minds

Science seems to be failing to change the minds of those who are sceptical about the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Chasing Ice - a film by Jeff Orlowski, playing in Australia currently - tries…
The author’s key message is diametrically opposed to that of just about every reputable nutrition authority in the world. Sexy Eggs/Flickr

Peer review: David Gillespie’s Toxic Oil

A best-selling book about nutrition has a power to influence the national diet that many health professionals can only dream about. And, if David Gillespie’s success is anything to go by, being a layman…
Pi finds a strange and beautiful island where life can’t survive. wildfox76/Flickr

Life of Pi’s acidic island a warning for our warming world

The recently released film Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee and based on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name, is a fable for our climate change times. Much of the plot involves the struggles of a teenage…
Ben Goldacre spreading the news at the Free University of Glastonbury, June 2011. Neil Melville-Kenney

Peer review: Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a poll in late-October 2012 asking, “Who is mainly at fault for denying access to negative clinical trial results?” Respondents were able to choose from a list…
The bizarre stuff that has been researched is staggering. Judy Keys

Peer review: This is Improbable by Marc Abrahams

You will have heard of the Ig Nobel prizes. These have been given out at Harvard University by real Nobel laureates since 1991, at a ceremony in which participants dress up in weird and wonderful garb…
Most of us know little about the experiences of people who are drawn to the multimillion dollar surrogacy industry. Mike Reys

Origins of Love: the reality and ethics of reproductive tourism

Assisted reproductive technology has grown significantly in Australia as in other countries and hundreds of thousands of children have now been born because of it around the world. Most of us know people…
Apparently, within six weeks you will have lost so much weight that you will be greeted with exclamations. Michael F. Weinberg

Weight-loss paradise or just another fad diet? A review of Six Weeks to OMG

The obesity epidemic sweeping across the world is being closely followed by another, more insidious epidemic – an ever-increasing number of books on how to lose weight. No two of these books advocate the…
“A venerable orang-outan”: editorial cartoon depicting Charles Darwin as an ape from The Hornet, 1871. Author unknown

Peer Review: Aping Mankind – Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity

Welcome to Peer Review, a series in which we ask leading academics to review books written by people in the same field. Here Neil Levy, ARC Future Fellow, based at the Florey Neuroscience Institutes, reviews…

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