E-Peer Review: Suggest Experiment

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Fri Oct 27 15:37:13 EST 1995


On 27 Oct 1995, Keith Robison wrote:

> Alexander Berezin (berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA) wrote:
> 
> : See comments below - Alex Berezin
> 
> : On Wed, 25 Oct 1995, Jeffrey H. Boatright wrote:
> 
> : > http://www.emory.edu/MOLECULAR_VISION/index.html
> : > 
> : > Molecular Vision is a peer-reviewed Web journal dedicated to the
> : > dissemination of research results in molecular and cell biology and
> : > genetics of the visual system (ocular and cortical). We accept regular
> : > research articles, short reports, technical briefs (which need not involve
> : > vision science), and invited reviews.
> : > 
> : > As with print journals, submissions to Molecular Vision are vigorously
> : > reviewed. Molecular Vision is NOT a preprint journal. Except for review
> : > articles, manuscripts should present original, unpublished material not
> : > being considered for publication elsewhere.
> : > 
> : > Please visit the journal. Feel free to make suggestions.
> : > 
> : > Jeffrey H. Boatright
> : > John M. Nickerson
> : > Robert L. Church
> : > Editors-in-Chief, Molecular Vision
> : > http://www.emory.edu/MOLECULAR_VISION/index.html
> : > 
> 
> : I suggest that the above idea of "viogrous peer review"
> : is quite detrimental. All you have to do is to check for
> : general relevance and post all submissions. The following
> : short article gives more explanations.
> 
> : Alexander A. Berezin, 
> : Department of Engineering Physics, McMaster 
> : University, Canada
> 
> 
> You should consider putting this view into practice.
> Since the Internet makes electronic publishing relatively cheap,
> you could set up such a journal and test whether it would
> indeed maintain scientific excellence without peer review
> (or, with a modified system -- such as reviewers making 
> comments / criticisms but not having the power to reject
> an article).
> 

Dear Dr. Robison:

Yes, anyone can do it (start non PR electronic 
journal). However, I am personally not interested. 
I do publish (almost) all I want, in a manner
I want, and in my 27 years in science I learned 
most of the tricks how to beat peer review or, 
if you wish, how to get around it. I don't keep it
as a priviledged information (there is none) and 
anyone motivated enough can learn the same with 
all the available literature.

So my premiss is that: "it is not proven that PR
imporoves the quality of science and the bulk
of historical evidence testifies against PR". 

Correspondingly, I maintain that the onus is on those 
who support the (present, anonymous) system of peer
review to prove their claims.

As a matter of practicality I suggest that 
Dr. Boatright start the experiment of running two 
sections of his e-journal for, say, 1 year.
Section A: rigorous peer review as he originally
propose.
Section B: not peer reviewed (post all, for as 
as long it is relevant to the topic).

Then by the end of the year you will at least 
have some statistics to report. Should you happen
to be right (PR does it better and all rush for it), 
I will be happy to concur.
    
**********************************
Alexander A. Berezin, PhD
Department of Engineering Physics
McMaster University, Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7
tel. (905) 525-9140 ext. 24546
e-mail: BEREZIN at MCMASTER.CA
**********************************



> 
> Keith Robison
> Harvard University
> Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology
> Department of Genetics / HHMI
> 
> robison at mito.harvard.edu 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 



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