Thought for the month

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Origin uncertain, usually attributed as a Chinese Proverb.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

No end of the peer review?

An article last month suggests that now the internet has made it easy to share an unsolicited opinion, traditional methods of academic review are beginning to show their age. It asserts that many believe that long-standing metrics of academic research (eg peer review, citation-counting, impact factor) are reaching breaking point. But we are not yet in a position to place complete trust in the alternatives, such as altmetrics, open science and post-publication review. Interestingly, at the same time, a researcher is taking legal action against a website over anonymous online comments about his work. Do we need better pre- and post- publication review mechanisms, better publications or just a good lawyer?

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