Reer Review: Open or Not ?

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Fri Jan 26 13:48:26 EST 1996

On Fri, 26 Jan 1996, Simon M. Brocklehurst wrote:

> Alexander Berezin wrote:
> > 
> stuff deleted...
> > IF the prime function of peer review was INDEED to HELP
> > the authors to achieve better lucidity of presentations
> > than no one of us would object it. Even anonymity may
> > not be an issue if, I repeat, IF, the prime function of
> > peer review was to ASSIST the author(s) to improve the
> > paper
>   Whether or not this is one of the main aims of APR, it is
> undeniably the case that papers are very often much improved
> for having gone through the process.
>   I wonder, would you change your views on this subject if 
> the overwhelming majority of people who publish papers in 
> high-quality journals came out on the side for APR?

Simon M. Brocklehurst,
Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences, Department of Biochemistry,
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
E-mail: smb at | WWW: 


(1) The strength of any argument is almost never a direct
function of how many people subscribe to it. The flaws of
APR (anonymous peer review) are well known, analysed by 
MANY authors and need to be addressed. Scientific
community makes a DIS-service to itself by pretending that
all goes well will APR and keeping business as usual. 
(2) As I said earlier, papers can be (often significantly)
improved by the comments from colleagues, but pretend that
anonymity is the best way to this is nonsense.

If you have (supportive) colleagues, ask them to read
your manuscript and make suggestions for improvements.
I hardly can think of anyone who would refuse to do
it, on the countary, people normally will feel honored. 
THIS is the way to do science, not secret bashing from
around the corner. (and if you don't have supportive
colleagues than ask yourself why not).

Alexander A. Berezin, PhD
Department of Engineering Physics
McMaster University, Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7
tel. (905) 525-9140 ext. 24546


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