Peer-to-peer

Richard Charkin on Nature’s peer-review trial

Richard Charkin, Chief Executive of Macmillan, owner of Nature Publishing Group, has posted an interesting entry on his blog about Nature’s peer review trial. The post contains a link to a radio interview with Philip Campbell, Editor in Chief of Nature, and features an article on the trial in the Wall St Journal.

Mr Charkin writes: “It’s great that a subject so apparently arcane as scientific peer review should be considered important enough to warrant two slots on the most important radio programme in the UK and a feature in the world’s leading financial newspaper. What is not so great is that the discussions manage to confuse open reviewing with free access, comment with criticism, freedom of information with free information, an excellent system which catches nearly all attempted scientific fraud with a flawed system which allows fraud to happen, the desire to speak confidentially and openly as opposed to the apparently open but necessarily guarded alternative. In other words and as usual, a tricky and important debate has been reduced to a few soundbites of little value and significant distortion.”

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