Open Peer-Review Provides a “Check” on Premature Announcements; but may Encourage “Stealing” of Ideas

Everyone involved in research wants to be the first to discover something. The pressure is so great especially at research universities where students typically never get to see their professors outside of class. Once someone thinks they have discovered something for the first time they want it published as soon as possible in a “peer-reviewed paper. That’s what is expected by the University Administration. It’s how academicians at research universities keep their job and eventually get tenure.

Open-peer review before publication sounds good and would help to prevent premature announcements of scientific findings that are later proved incorrect (as discussed in the article cited below).

However, there is a danger. Having had research “ideas” stolen by other professors at a public institution I can certainly say it does happen. Would “open peer review” encourage this? I tell students that in academia “Everyone is operating out of different rule books.” And because of this research ideas (and associated data) are a precious commodity that researchers must learn to protect, even if they end up being incorrect. Otherwise, they won’t be doing research for very long.

“The team involved has been criticised for publishing results before they were peer reviewed. But this is what science is: debate, discussion, deliberation.” click here for news article

Comments are closed.