Note that several of these articles are from top quality journals
Classical peer review: an empty gun
If peer review was a drug it would never be allowed onto the market,' says Drummond
Rennie, deputy editor of the Journal Of the American Medical Association .....Peer
review would not get onto the market because we have no convincing evidence of its
benefits but a lot of evidence of its flaws.
"Referees are overworked. The problem of bias is intractable. The referee system
has broken down and become an obstacle to scientific progress. Traditional refereeing
is an antiquated form that might have been good for science in the past but it's
high time to put it out of its misery."
Scientific peer review: an ineffective and unworthy institution
The thing is, the peer review of scientific reports is not only without documented
value in advancing the scientific enterprise but, in a manner that few care to acknowledge
openly, primarily serves ends that are less than noble. Peer review is widely assumed
to provide an imprimatur of scientific quality (and significance) for a publication,
but this is clearly not the case.
"The survey — of 215 UK academics — estimated that 1 in 7 had plagiarized from someone
else’s work, and nearly 1 in 5 had fabricated data. Here’s how Joanna Williams and
David Roberts at the University of Kent summarize the results in their full report,
published by the Society for Research into Higher Education:"
The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists
"Today, scientists’ success often isn’t measured by the quality of their questions
or the rigor of their methods. It’s instead measured by how much grant money they
win, the number of studies they publish, and how they spin their findings to appeal
to the public."
Retraction record broken, again: University report should up Fujii total to 183
"Keeping up with the various investigations into the activities of Yoshitaka Fujii
— the assumed record holder for retractions by a single author, with 172 likely —
can be a challenge. Between the journals pulling his papers and the institutions
looking into his misconduct, it’s hard to keep everything straight"
Major publisher retracts 43 papers, alleging fake peer review
"BioMed Central, the UK based publisher of 277 medical and scientific journals, has
retracted 43 papers “because the peer-review process was inappropriately influenced
and compromised,” said a statement in a string of retraction notices published this
The Case of the Amazing Gay-Marriage Data: How a Graduate Student Reluctantly Uncovered
a Huge Scientific Fraud
"Instead, he took a preexisting dataset, pawned it off as his own, and faked the
persuasion “effects” of the canvassing. It’s the sort of brazen data fraud you just
don’t see that often, especially in a journal like Science. "
"Many retractions barely register outside of the scientific field. But in some instances,
the studies that were clawed back made major waves in societal discussions of the
issues they dealt with. This list recounts some prominent retractions that have occurred
"The crimes and misdemeanors of science used to be handled mostly in-house, with
a private word at the faculty club, barbed questions at a conference, maybe a quiet
dismissal. On the rare occasion when a journal publicly retracted a study, it typically
did so in a cryptic footnote. Few were the wiser; many retracted studies have been
cited as legitimate evidence by others years after the fact"
A group of researchers recently looked at 55 large clinical studies funded by the
NHLBI between 1970 and 2012 to see if the transparency rules had made any difference.
What they found should shake the foundations of medical research…but it almost certainly
57% of studies (17/30) published before 2000 showed a significant benefit in
the primary outcome
8% (2/25 trials published after 2000 showed a significant benefit in the primary