What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia By the rubes and the boobs and the bubbas, right? No, actually.
From Charles Ornstein at Pacific Standard:
A widely derided editorial, a controversial series of articles, and delayed corrections have prompted critics to question the direction of the New England Journal of Medicine.
In a widely derided editorial earlier this year, Dr. Jeffrey M. Drazen, the Journal’s editor-in-chief, and a deputy used the term “research parasites” to describe researchers who seek others’ data to analyze or replicate their studies, which many say is a crucial step in the scientific process. And last year, the Journal ran a controversial series saying concerns about conflicts of interest in medicine are oversimplified and overblown. More.
The internet has, as so often, upended everything.
It enables researchers to publish and be damned (or not), something one couldn’t really do before in science.
It also raises the question whether publicly funded research shouldn’t be free to everyone (public access). In the days of print, that would have been only a theoretical issue.
The question with science publishing is how to subvert clique control without inviting public pressure group control, which would probably be worse for quality.
See also: Pirated research papers: Third world access vs copyright
NYT: Biologists go rogue Nobelist Randy Shekman was a pioneer of this trend. He just told off the journals after his Nobel because he no longer needs them.