Problems with academics [was: Vaccine efficacy]

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Tue Feb 08 2000 - 09:30:28 MST

On Tue, 8 Feb 2000 wrote:

> However, it did flesh out the relevancy of your "academic" citation.
> Titles and affiliations are not the point, tho, are they?

This brings up an interesting point. While many academic journals
do a fairly even handed job, there are lots of examples where they
don't. Probably every writer has a horror stories such as Amara
recently pointed out. And then of course you have things like
the "Society for Cryobiology" and their journal Cryobiology.
While they may be very good academics you wouldn't stand a chance
of getting any serious work related to cryonics published in
that journal. Not because the science wouldn't be good enough
but because they are so against the basic premises.

As Robin points out, any organization is likely to have its "agenda".
Journals often have review boards that are made of people who know
each other and think similarly. If you get someone from a different
field, they may look at a paper published in a "peer"-reviewed Journal
and view it as garbage because it doesn't take into account information
from outside the narrow field on which the journal is focused. I
suspect this problem will only get worse as journals go after narrower
and narrower fields of science. Its only when you bring in something
like "Crit" that allows anyone to comment on the material that you
break through this limit. Then of course that requires that the
Journals be online and available for anyone to peruse.

We still have a way to go before we can get to the next level in
knowledge production.


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