More Peer Review - More Garbage

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Thu Oct 5 14:06:35 EST 1995

On 5 Oct 1995, Simon Brocklehurst wrote:

> This is getting ridiculous.  Peer review is essential
> both to screen out garbage, and to provide expert
> opinion on what is interesting/novel and what isn't .

On the contrary. For as long as the the prime driver of
science activity is the accumulation of more and more 
(peer reviewed) papers, publish-or-perish nonsense will 
never cease. It is true that not all what is published
is garbage, but most is and peer review does NOT help 
to clean the house. Without anonymous peer-review (or 
rather having it repalced by an OPEN peer-review in the 
form of added criticism), the amount of published garbage
will sharply decrease.

 People who transcended publish-perish hysteria (Lev
Landau, Richard Feynman) published relatively little by 
common standards (about 100 life-time papers each).
> Of course it doesn't always work, and things slip
> through the net, and into print...

This is not the point. Nothing works always. The problem
is that (anonymous) peer review has a CONSISTENT negative 
bias - suppression of originality and coercion to safe
science. Read the literature before making arbitray claims. 

Alex Berezin

> _______________________________________________________________________
> |
> |  ,_ o     Simon M. Brocklehurst,
> | /  //\,   Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences, Department of Biochemistry,
> |   \>> |   University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
> |    \\,    E-mail: smb at | WWW: 
> |____________________________________________________________________________

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