Down and dirty peer review?

Great rant on peer review for journals on DB's Medical Rants. I love this guy's honesty. Here's a snip:

    Much science creates controversy. Whenever there is controversy, people (for after all reviewers are people) take sides. We all know that when we submit an article, we run the risk of having the wrong reviewer. I suspect that I have been the wrong reviewer for some articles.

    What I dislike about peer review is the arbitrariness. Editors, based on reviews, make decisions on which articles they think are important. My most important article, frequently cited, was published in a brand new journal, because none of the established articles would accept it for publication.

    So does peer review help or hinder scientific progress? I believe that we would be better served by easier publication, tied with easier room for critiques and discussion, i.e., much more like blogging.

    If I write something outrageous, I will certainly receive commentary criticizing my position. Others will support me, and this healthy debate should help readers develop better understanding.

    We need more discourse on scientific articles. We need more commentary to help us put new findings into perspective. Perhaps we need to end politesse and “get down and dirty” with the data.

You go, DB!

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