Additional thoughts on Bible-flu and the retraction

PZ has some additional thoughts on the Bibleflugate retraction up at Pharyngula. Choice quote:

This is a serious concern, to my mind. Scientists are expected to be open and communicative about their work, explaining all the details about how we achieve our results. Yet then we hand that work over to a publisher (usually a for-profit organization), where it is subjected to an arcane process cloaked in mystery that they call peer review. And every once in a while, some strange fluke exposes the inherently arbitrary and chaotic nature of that process, everyone asks "how the hell did that get published?", and some guy in a business suit steps out to unconvincingly tell us "oops" and reassure us that all is well in the machineries of their journal.

I don't think it's enough. If a publisher wants to manage this profitable business of publishing science journals, there ought to be an expectation of transparency -- a fuller explanation of how submissions are handled, and when mistakes are made, a more thorough explanation of exactly how it happened. Without an open explanation of how such mistakes occur, I can't have any confidence that efforts will be made to correct the process that led to them.

He also notes the lead author responded to a request for comments, basically saying he was surprised at the response and was only meant to be "thought-provoking."

More like this

What's next, a study of Princess Fiona in the tallest tower as an example of narcolepsy?

I have the very first entry in my list of journals that I absolutely will NOT even consider sending a manuscript to. I wouldn't want the taint of actually being published from Virology Journal seeing as how they will apparently print anything. Perhaps a thorough scan of past journal article titles will find some creationist virology treatises.

The fact that the article is apparently still accessible means the wellhead, so to speak, is still spewing filth and sullying the scientific waters around it.

Hi Kitty cat,

Don't you think it is more important to get married for girls in your age?