This blog is about restoring a healthy environment where the scientific establishment will regain control of post publication peer review.
Research papers have been challenged since the early days of science publication. For hundreds of years, the rules of fair play and transparency dictate that the challenger must seek publication of his/her adverse comments which must be granted pursuant to a favorable peer review conducted by the same journal where the challenged paper had appeared, while the challenged author is given the chance to rebut in the same forum and under the same rules of publication. With the controversy in the open, the readership gets the chance to adjudicate and the editor may act upon the matter, sometimes even enforcing retraction.
Web access surely facilitates this exchange. Unfortunately, it also enables a gross distortion in the form of “post publication peer review”, a trigger-happy operation that exploits self-published blogs where angry people are granted willy-nilly the chance to pour hatred-related content into the web without consequences for them (so far). Thus, they cowardly indulge in character assassination as they invoke travesties of justice and Constitutional rights, always under the pretext of seeking scientific transparency. Since one man’s sorrow is another man’s joy, the hatred content of blogs like PubPeer and Retraction Watch sells like hot cakes, poisoning the waters of scientific endeavor as they focus on career failure. The scientific establishment must put an end to this and do it swiftly.