Posts Tagged ‘peer review’

Elsevier boycott

1 Feb 2012

I expect you’ve already heard about the Elsevier boycott, started based on comments from Timothy Gowers. While he focused on his own discipline (mathematics), the boycott site now has people broken down by subject. On 1 Feb, there were 2700+ signatories, including 600+ mathematicians (but only 15 statisticians). There have been a couple of articles about this in the Chronicle of Higher Education: here and here.

I signed the boycott, and will refuse to review papers for Evilsevier journals, and will try to steer my coauthors away from them. (I certainly wouldn’t send my own papers to such journals, but it’s hard to control papers on which I am one lowly author among many.)

Most important to me is that the journals are expensive and publishing companies are reaping an enormous profit. The former head of the library at UW-Madison mentioned recently that they spend $4 million per year on electronic resources (books and journals), and that they are “struggling to pay that Elsevier bill”.

I prefer society-related journals. These days, my own papers all go to my favorite journal, Genetics, which is associated with the Genetics Society of America.
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Fund people not projects?

19 Oct 2011

John Ioannidis, known for his comments on medical research (see also the Atlantic article), has an interesting opinion piece in Nature on saving researchers’ time writing and reviewing grants: fund people not projects. As he concludes, “Requiring [scientists] to spend most of their time writing grants is irrational. It’s time to seriously consider another approach.”

It was thought provoking, but I don’t think any of his ideas will really work. Lots of people complain about peer review, but I think it largely works well and none of the proposed alternatives would actually be better. Here are my thoughts.

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