2012-02-10 09:47:50Interest in a peer review post?
angliss

angliss@spamcop...
162.18.172.11

I originally posted this in the "Suggestion Box," but Rob suggested this might be a better forum for my question.

Back in 2009 I wrote a post on "why peer review matters" at scholarsandrogues.com (OP here for reference: http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2009/04/05/scientific-peer-review-matters/).  I'm considering rewriting it to incorporate some feedback I got and I was wondering if it was something that SkS might be interested in.

As I'm the new guy to the forums, I figured it was best to ask first before just throwing a post out into the wild.

2012-02-10 10:52:44Great post on peer-review there, Brian
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

I'm designing a social science experiment at the moment and part of it involves explaining the peer-reviewed system and arguing that it is a robust, trustworthy system. I may have to crib some of your blog post for content (with credit, of course)

So to answer your question, yes please! :-)

2012-02-10 19:38:18
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
134.225.187.225

An explanation of peer review would be a good article to have, and it should probably be linked to in the 'read here first' bit IMO. Understanding the difference between peer reviewed science and the unfounded opinions of James Delingpole is a first step to understanding climate science!

2012-02-10 22:15:09
Kevin C

cowtan@ysbl.york.ac...
144.32.218.150

I think it is a good idea.

There has been a certain amount of angst in my own fireld about the number of retractions recently. I've been arguing that it is misplaced, because peer-review doesn't stop when a paper is published - it continues as long as the paper is being read. The fact that errors are detected and papers are retracted is evidence of the process working, not of it failing to work.

The initial review before publication is just the beginning of the process.

2012-02-10 23:34:56
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
82.113.119.64

I think of peer review as sanity checking: The question is not, "Is the result right?", but "Does the paper demonstrate basic compliance with current science and scientific methodologies within the field of study?"

2012-02-10 23:43:09
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

I think this is a good idea, peer review is widely misunderstood.

I give a short course on the reviewing process to our postgrad students, and I usually need to start with "why do we write papers?" and often have to work quite hard to get them to come up with a good answer ("to convery a scientific finding to fellow scientists in the hope that they will to take your result/algorithm/method and use it or develop it further"), the first answer is usually "because my supervisor told me to"!

2012-02-11 00:39:53
Kevin C

cowtan@ysbl.york.ac...
144.32.218.150

And the other question is 'Why do we cite papers?'. To which the usual answer is 'to avoid losing marks/being slammed by the referees'.

Rather then 'To established a chain of evidence for every step in our argument, so that the argument can be checked and invalidated if some of its premises turn out to be wrong.'

2012-02-11 02:15:56
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

@Kevin, good point, I'll have to remember that one for this years class, thanks!

2012-02-11 03:29:57
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.46.115

The other reason to cite papers is to give the reader an understanding of how the work relates to other work in the field: To provide documented context.