Censorship

John Grehan jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Thu Dec 20 07:37:57 CST 2001


At 04:58 PM 12/20/01 +1100, you wrote:
> > 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.
>
>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?

'They' might say that its "off the wall' (which is pretty much what the
Galapagos
reviewers did), but provide no substantiation of this. The problem is
further compounded
in journals where editors just say an article is unacceptable because the
reviewers
say so and that is the end of the matter. There are cases where reviewers
make claims
about panbiogeography that are not correct, and yet editors will not accept any
rebuttal.

>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.

This I think targets a fundamental problem with the review process and the
development of alternative views in the literature.Geoff is clearly saying that
its ok to suppress alternatives that do not conform to one's own methodologies.
By this logic I should suppress all dispersalist and vicariance cladistic
papers just because they don't do things the way I do. This is a problematic
situation to say the least.

>There are strategies of
>dealing with that so that editors are persuaded  to publish.

I don't know what these 'strategies' are supposed to be. Perhaps Geoff could
elucidate.

>Presumably
>John is getting very expert in those strategies since his work does get into
>print - and in prestigious journals at that! :-)

Well I did not know that they were prestigious, but thank you for the
acknowledgment.
However, the intimation that this success (and its not just me) is by some
sort of
slight of hand is problematic.


>Cheers,
>
>
>--
>   Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>
>   http://www.annelida.net/




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