Peer Review (cont)

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Tue Oct 31 15:47:51 EST 1995

Reply to comments made by Dr. Sean Eddy,
despite that he indicates he is not 
interested to discuss the issue further.
Alex Berezin 

On Tue, 31 Oct 1995, Sean Eddy wrote:

>    >(EDDY)    Dr. Berezin, I'm just curious -- do you sign your reviews?
>    >(BEREZIN) No, apart one or two cases I don't do this....
>    >(EDDY)    If you feel strongly about the moral bankruptcy of
>               anonymous peer review -- why are you not signing your reviews?
>    >(BEREZIN) 
>    >In short, Dr. Eddy, you avoid to present an argument in favour
>    >of Anon.PR (in you have any) and instead resort to discussion
>    >of personalities. None of us is perfect and we all do 
>    >occasionally slip from the standards of academic discourse. 
>    >However, we should keep discusssing the issue in its merit.
>    >The pointing of fingers on each other is hardly a constructive
>    >way of solving the dispute. 
> I never discussed any personalities nor pointed any fingers, and I
> rather resent your accusation that I am "slipping from the standards
> of academic discourse".

> I never claimed to be interested in defending anonymous peer review. 

> I don't have to. *I don't use it.* You do. 

Actually, the last time I refered a paper was some 2 years ago,
before I started writing against APR (anonymous peer review). 
So, for all practical purposes the issue of my personal 
participation in APR is rather irrelevant.

BUT: if you are saying "I don't use it" (your above words),
the assumption is that you are not using it as a reviewer 
(cudos to you in this case) AND as an author (in short, 
you refuse to submit papers to journals which use APR). 
If you really do BOTH of these than I have nothing to say,
adore your stand and admit my moral inferiority [ I DO
submit papers to journals with APR). 

But: if you do (as most orthers) keep doing the second 
(submitting papers to be subjected to APR), then, I am 
sorry, your position is inconsistent.    

> Since I presume that you've
> thought the issue through, I figure that you must have an argument in
> favor of anonymous peer review. I asked what it was. Period.

I don't have argument(s) IN FAVOR of APR. All arguments I know
of are strongly and decisively AGAINST peer review anonymity.

> I've :got no interest in being dragged into a flame war, so this is
> just an email to you. I won't waste my time nor Net bandwidth
> defending myself from your accusation. 

I am not interested in personal barking either. I do not 
consider myself in any flame war - and if others see it this
way it is their issue, not mine. I am intersted in continuing
criticism of APR as (one of) my academic issues and will 
keep doing it for as long as I am have interested to it.
How many other people (and who specifically) are interested 
in it as well, I care rather little.     

> You can reply if you wish --
> I'm not trying to get the last word -- but I'm not posting or emailing
> any more on this subject. 

> I would be pleased, though, if you went back
> and actually answered my question on bionet.general.

I don't recall what question you have asked. If you
wish to post any question(s) in specific form, I will
certainly consider posting an answer (though don't 
accept that to do so is my obligation).

Alex Berezin

> yours,
> Sean Eddy

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