Day By Day

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Can Blogs Restore the Credibility of Scientific Authority

It is now a given that the current system for evaluating academic research -- peer review and citation frequency in major journals -- has completely broken down. So what can replace it? John Hawks and Dienekes Pontikos have a suggestion: blogging.
Pontikos sees little point in formally publishing his findings. "I can bypass them entirely, and have the entire world review what I write," he wrote in an e-mail. Indeed, comments on his blog — "could you please provide the eigenvalues for the principal component analysis", for instance — read like the niggling recommendations of a manuscript reviewer.
As for Hawks, he writes:
I've often found that the best reviews of my work come from blogs and readers, not from peer review itself.
Read it here.

The much derided blogosphere, it seems, may in the end be the salvation of a corrupt scientific establishment the credibility of which has pretty much disappeared.

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