Another psychologist has resigned amid questions over the validity of his research.


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Another psychologist has resigned amid questions over the validity of his research.

This and other recent cases (here, here, here, here, here, here) are more evidence that the peer review process in some fields is badly broken, that the reviewers are too often not doing the reviewing they are supposed to, and in some cases might very well be participating in scientific fraud themselves.

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4 comments

  • I used to forbid my students from using Wikipedia as a source. However, recent scandals involving refereed journals of faked data and suppression of alternative viewpoints led me to conclude that Wikipedia may be just as trustworthy. Incidentally, if this “suspicious” research of the part of this social psychologist was supported by a federal grant, he may be subject to serious, legal consequences.

  • wodun

    It seems that being on a peer review board is a lot like being on the board of directors or a company.

  • Actually, peer review doesn’t work like that. A scientist submits a paper to a journal. The journal is supposed to remove his name from the paper and send it out to several comparable experts in the same field, who also remain anonymous. They review the paper and suggest changes or corrections. Since names are removed, the process is supposed to be more objective. If the reviewers reject the paper, giving their reasons, the scientist is expected to make the appropriate changes.

    In an ideal world, reviewers would only reject papers that have fundamental errors in fact.

    In truth, we have found that journal editors in some fields often collude with their reviewers to keep some papers from getting published, while in other fields the reviewers collude with the authors to get papers published without anyone checking the data.

  • wodun

    People on a board of directors are supposed to act as oversight for a company insureing the ceo and the rest of the company are making good decisions but all too often they are there merely for money or prestige and do little if any oversight. In other words they don’t always live up to their obligations which seems to be a lot like these peer reviewers :)

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