Censorship

SKÁLA Zdeněk skala at INCOMA.CZ
Thu Dec 20 09:45:44 CST 2001


Generally important point, I believe; the quality and rules of the
journals' editing/reviewing process is the key to science development. I
am no fan of panbiogeography but still think that journals are the
vehicles of free scientific discussion, so articles should be rejected
for very specific reasons only:
(a) - the article do not fall within the scope of the journal, that
should be explicitly stated already in the Instructions to Authors, e.g.
"journal is publishing articles from the fields of..." or "is not
publishing articles that..."
(b) - the findings are not new or are not generally interesting
(c) - the article is internally inconsistent, i.e. it does not use the
method properly, or the conclusions are not implied by results, or there
are logical inconsistencies, etc.
The (c) is probably the main point; if the reviewers "believe that there
is fundamental problem with scientific quality" they should be very
explicit about it and show clearly where is the problem. Here is the key
role of the editors: the supervising of the review process (not all
reviews need to be of acceptable quality, likewise the submitted
papers).
Suppressing the "sidebar" articles results in suppressing the scientific
discussion; it is often the "sidebar" views that promote it most
effectively. It should be the prime interest of editors to carefully
examine if the article is rejected due to low quality or due to its low
conformity to mainstream views.
Best!
Zdenek Skala
skala at incoma.cz


-----Original Message-----
John Grehan:
> When reviewers reject papers because they do not conform to their
> individual beliefs rather than demonstrating any fundamental problem
with the
> scientific quality that's censorship and suppression.

Geoff Read:
I don't follow the logic. Why can't their individual belief be that
there is a
fundamental problem with the scientific quality? If they think it's off
the wall,
are they not supposed to say so?  John Grehan wants them to let his
paper
through anyway because to him it's all beautifully internally consistent
if
only referees would accept his methodology. Many presumably don't,
hence the high rejection rate he experiences.

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