Publish-or-perish: Peer review and the corruption of science

Publish-or-perish: Peer review and the corruption of science The Guardian (UK)

Pressure on scientists to publish has led to a situation where any paper, however bad, can now be printed in a journal that claims to be peer-reviewed. Peer review is the process that decides whether your work gets published in an academic journal. It doesn’t work very well any more… Any paper, however bad, can now get published in a journal that claims to be peer-reviewed.

The US National Library of Medicine indexes 39 journals that deal with alternative medicine. They are all “peer-reviewed”, but rarely publish anything worth reading. The peer review for a journal on homeopathy is, presumably, done largely by other believers in magic. If that were not the case, these journals would soon vanish.

Source: The Guardian

This article is an explanation of the tricky business and marketing machine of peer review. More and more journals are run by advocates who start publications just to say their work has been “peer reviewed” and “published”. This may lead to more sham inquiry than real if it is used to manufacture credibility for ideas that essentially have no evidence to support them. What will happen when the scientific step of peer review and critique is so watered down that there is no gauntlet of credible experts to run information through? Perish the thought.