Being a ‘Chooser’, Not a ‘Changer’ (More on Peer Review)
There have been several instances where commentators at this blog have criticised others for publishing their information on websites rather in peer reviewed journals. The inference being that if its not in a peer reviewed journal, the idea has little merit.
Interestingly, there’s a new medical journal to be published by Elsevier called ‘Medical Hypotheses’ and it plans to take a deliberately different approach to peer review:
“Most contemporary practice tends to discriminate against radical ideas that conflict with current theory and practice. Medical Hypotheses will publish radical ideas, so long as they are coherent and clearly expressed. Furthermore, traditional peer review can oblige authors to distort their true views to satisfy referees, and so diminish authorial responsibility and accountability. In Medical Hypotheses, the authors’ responsibility for the integrity, precision and accuracy of their work is paramount. The editor sees his role as a ‘chooser’, not a ‘changer’: choosing to publish what are judged to be the best papers from those submitted.
Papers in Medical Hypotheses take a standard scientific form in terms of style, structure and referencing. The journal therefore constitutes a bridge between cutting-edge theory and the mainstream of medical and scientific communication, which ideas must eventually enter if they are to be critiqued and tested against observations.”
What a great idea! And doesn’t the new journal neatly articulate the problems with peer review for those working outside of established paradigms.
The quote was sent to me with a link to a blog piece by Andrew Leigh in which he suggests the concept has application to economics.