'The article review system is by no means all-out'



When a researcher wants to publish a paper in a journal, many journals are required to perform peer review by experts in the field to evaluate the significance of the paper and verify the legitimacy. . However, it has been pointed out that such review is not a strictly standardized system and not all-purpose.

Why we shouldn't take peer review as the 'gold standard'-The Washington Post

In July 2019, the Government of India rejected a survey claiming that “India's economic growth is overvalued ” as “unreviewed” . Also at a meeting of plastic engineers, an economist at an industry group commented that 'part of the research has not been reviewed' for research on the impact of plastics on the environment. The Trump administration also tried to reject climate change reports due to a lack of peer review .

As you can see from these cases, 'review' is treated as securing the credibility of papers in the public. Therefore, regardless of the content of the dissertation, it is likely that the dissertation being reviewed is justified, and those that are not are considered to be unreliable. However, although a peer-reviewed essay evaluation system has been in operation since the 17th century, there are no definitive examination criteria or rules to apply to the peer-review system.

After all, the reviewers are the ones that the editors select, and there is human intervention. For example, editors peer reviewers to same-sex researchers that people tend to choose (PDF file) result research and women of reviewers who are estimated low reliability is the point, such as has been pointed out, the peer review system It seems that demographic bias has occurred.



There have also been cases where malicious researchers and organizations abuse the review system. For example, NFL , a professional league for American football , has published a peer-reviewed paper stating that 'the damage to the brain that contact play in American football gives does not harm players in the long run.'

The NFL claimed that these papers were 'reliable research results published after peer review', but later the New York Times described ' more than 100 of the NFL published studies. Serious cases of brain pain were excluded . ” In other words, it turned out that this study was highly likely to be a reflection of the NFL's intentions and was unreliable. Also, when reviewing a dissertation, many researchers argued whether or not to accept the NFL dissertation, and some referees were clearly claiming that the dissertation should not be published. Of.

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Similar examples are found in the fossil fuel industry, which wants to spark skepticism about climate change. Many climate change skeptics publish their articles in a peer-reviewed journal called Energy & Environment, but among researchers it seems to be unreliable about Energy & Environment. The reason is that Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, who selects editors and reviewers, is a climate skeptic, and Energy & Environment has published a paper that publicly opposes issues such as global warming.

In 2015, Dr. Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Center , will pay $ 1.2 million from the energy industry group when it comes to research that changes in solar energy explain global warming. It turned out that the funds of 130 million yen were received . It is very difficult for reviewers who read the dissertation to find out the background of these funders.

In addition, there are also cases where 'a researcher in a company writes for a dissertation,' and the scandal that there is a ghost writer for a dissertation is no exception to famous universities such as the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University . Seeing these ghost writers is also a difficult issue for reviewers, and just because they are peer-reviewed does not necessarily mean that the legitimacy of the paper can be guaranteed.

Furthermore, there is a case where 'the reviewer deliberately returns the dissertation that contradicts his own research results', which should not be. The study , published in 2015, examined 1008 medical articles submitted to three major medical journals, including cases that were denied publication and the number of later citations. As a result, among the 1008 articles submitted, 808 were finally published in major medical journals, but the 14 papers with the highest number of citations were rejected for publication in other journals in the past It turned out that it had been done. Peer-reviewed articles may certainly have some credibility, but it is a matter of thinking that they are overly credible.

by Rahul

in Note, Posted by log1h_ik