Peer review, or it didn't happen

An amusing science meme, courtesy my friend Andrew Balfour.

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  1. Well, what if you're peerless, though, Maggie? smile

    Peer review as a way of helping authors increase the quality of their output is a great thing, when it's actually functioning that way instead of as a toll gate.

    Peer review as a credibility filter is just argument from authority; logically and ethically bankrupt. If it ain't in the King James it didn't happen - you can change the shibboleth and the attitude is still just as infantile.

    I love the image, but I personally would only use it satirically to mock blind worshippers of peer review. Who will be along shortly, I expect.

  2. LDoBe says:

    Replication by an independent group, or there's no corroborating evidence that it happens?

  3. That's probably a better slogan. smile

    Of course, like many accurate slogans, it fits poorly on a T-shirt.

  4. edgore says:

    Is my new t-shirt slogan.

  5. SamSam says:

    Peer review should never be considered a sufficient hurdle for acceptance of a result or an idea in science, but it should certainly be considered a necessary hurdle. If you can't convince anyone in your field that your paper has enough merits even to be considered scientific, then you're clearly failing at some very fundamental level to be practicing science.

    So it certainly is a credibility filter, and sure, it's an argument from authority. "Argument from authority" is one of the least-fallacious fallacies. The whole definition of an authority on a subject is someone who knows enough about it to have a basis for a judgement.

    Why should I trust a peer-reviewed paper on climate science than a non-peer reviewed paper? Because the peers who are doing the reviewing know a lot more about the science behind climate science than I do.

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