Peer review: Unsettling ‘science’

journals“Peer-reviewed” science received a poke in the eye when a major publisher of medical and science articles retracted 43 papers because of bogus reviews.

Worse still, a multidisciplinary group including 9,000 journal editors suggests the problem goes much further, The Washington Post reports.

The publisher BioMed Central of the United Kingdom, responsible for 277 peer-reviewed journals, flagged the “fabricated” reviews, which predominately included those written by Chinese scholars. BioMed Central’s senior editor for research integrity said an investigation revealed a concerted effort to deceive journal editors.

More disturbing is the statement from the Committee on Publication Ethics, which identified “systematic, inappropriate attempts to manipulate the peer review processes.”

Peer reviews are supposed to ensure the integrity of scholarly research by having experts read research papers and approve them (or not) for publication. Irregularities ranged from lackadaisical reviews to “outright fraud,” The Post reports.

And if the peer reviews are fudged, who’s to say the actual “science” contained therein isn’t?

The incidents are not isolated. And the ramifications are serious when sham reviews are used to shore up questionable claims, such as the “settled science” of global warming.

Skepticism removed from scientific inquiry, peer-reviewed or not, renders the inquiry ineffective if not useless.

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  • Avatar

    Gator

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    One of the reasons why we see medical studies being rejected is because physicians take an oath…

    [i]The Hippocratic Oath (Greek ὅρκος horkos) is an oath historically taken by physicians. It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. It requires a new physician to swear, upon a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards.[/i]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath

    We would see enormous numbers of CAGW papers retracted if they had to take a similar oath, and if ‘climate experts’ were actually concerned with the human condition.

    • Avatar

      Captain Dave

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      Upon graduating as an Engineer in Canada, I was privileged to swear an oath to be thorough, to try to think of everything that could go wrong in my designs, so as to minimize the potential harm that might be done to people.
      You will be hard pressed to find Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists that trumpet the CAGW meme.

      • Avatar

        Gator

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        I spent nearly 8 years as a Geology student, was a climatology student, and have a Remote sensing degree. I graduated after the Ice Age Scare, and before the Global Warming Scare. I got interested in Geology when I lived in Europe, and spent time in the Alps, the power of the Earth is just awe inspiring!

        In fact it was this valley, that clinched it for me…

        [img]http://mylauterbrunnen.com/cmsfiles/list/staubbach_530.jpg[/img]

        http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/04/lauterbrunnen-valley-of-72-waterfalls.html

        Trying to wrap my head around the amount of ice and time it would have taken to carve such a masterpiece, made me want to know more, and the more I learned the more fascinated I became.

        The very first time I heard the hypothesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming, my immediate reaction was b*llsh*t.

  • Avatar

    GR82DRV

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    I work in the medical field. The difference is that errant or fraudulent medical publishing can injure and kill people quickly. There is simply no tolerance of this behavior in accredited medical journals.

    On the other hand, false publishing of AGW data is all about the [i]gradual[/i] usurpation of free market economies and individual rights. It is hard to show people dying as a direct result of this fraud. However, the stakes here are enormous, and if AGW promoters were sincere they would have no problem subjecting their studies to the same rigors as medical journals.

    • Avatar

      Gator

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      [quote]It is hard to show people dying as a direct result of this fraud.[/quote]

      No it isn’t, it only takes 15 minutes…

      [img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-r4GAUMC_7l8/TjGYiHj7dBI/AAAAAAAAAO4/JFrAcjYUim4/s1600/Child+in+mothers+arms+dying+of+starvation..jpg[/img]

      [i]Each year, 2.6 million children die as a result of hunger-related causes.[/i]

      http://www.bread.org/hunger/global/

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