30 September 2015

Journals, tired of complaining about blogs, complain about PubPeer

Well, it had been a while since a journal complained about how the Internet is ruining science.

Fortunately, Michael Blatt,  Plant Physiology stepped up to the plate with an editorial re-hashing tired arguments about post-publication peer review.

How tired are they? The editorial pretty much checks off every box of arguments against post-publication peer review that I listed in my article on the subject over a year ago. It’s so familiar, Blatt could have used mine article as a template for his. “Hm. Have I complained about anonymity yet? I have. Oooh, but I haven’t said anything about the tone.”

The only wrinkle is that this time, it’s directed at PubPeer rather than blogs. Blatt goes so far as to say:

Until then, I urge scientists publishing in Plant Physiology and other reputable scientific journals not to respond to comments or allegations on PubPeer(.)

Weirdly, a very similar sentiment was expressed about the blog Retraction Watch just days before:

Mr. (Ariel) Fern√°ndez never filed the lawsuit he threatened against Retraction Watch in 2013. But he has not retracted his disdain for the blog.

“I thought about suing RW,” he told The Chronicle in an email this month, “then I quickly realized that nobody with scientific credentials takes RW seriously.”

It’s a slightly sad and desperate ploy. “Don’t look at them!”

I would do a deeper analysis of this editorial, but Paul Brookes and DrugMonkey have already done it. Go read.

Related posts

Back room science

External links

Punching down; In defense of PubPeer
Throwing punches about PubPeer


Blatt MR. 2015. Vigilante science. Plant Physiology 169(2): 907-909. http:/​/​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1104/​pp.​15.​01443

Faulkes Z. 2014. The vacuum shouts back: post-publication peer-review on social media. Neuron 82(2): 258-260. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2014.03.032

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