But, but, but … peer review.

Dick Puddlecote draws our attention to a very amusing editorial in Tobacco Control.

Despite careful review and selection procedures, no journal can guarantee that everything published is accurate, or that all readers will agree with the authors’ interpretation of findings.

Really? So the peer review process at Tobacco Control does what exactly?

While the editors make decisions about what is and is not published in this forum, these decisions are made with expert advice and balancing many factors-–—including research quality, contributions to the field, innovation, international impact and policy relevance.

Let me interpret that:

While the editors make decisions about what is and is not published in this forum, these decisions are made with expert advice and balancing many factors-–—including research quality, contributions to the field, innovation, international impact and policy relevance conforming with our pre-conceived biases.

Moving along.

Recent comments posted on some personal blogs impugn the objectivity of Tobacco Control and its reviewers, questioning our motives and the veracity of peer review.

No! Shocking. Do these people have no shame? Oh, wait. Not just on blogs, but whole working papers too.

The whole editorial is the most amazing read – turns out it’s not the editors fault that the journal has poor and sloppy research articles; its the authors’ and the reviewers’ fault. Small wonder they can’t get reviewers.

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11 Responses to But, but, but … peer review.

  1. I’ve come to the conclusion when government, or anyone for that matter, wants to make an informed decision, the last group of people that should be consulted are ‘experts’. The views of ‘experts’ should be noted and then put in file 13.

    When you consider at all the crappy, misbegotten, policies, actions, boondoggles etc that have been implemented over the years, backed by ‘experts’, they have all failed like every, single, Green’s initiative. I just about throw up every time I hear some talking head tell us that the ‘the experts say’, or words to that effect.

  2. B Shaw

    Ah yes, whole working papers too.
    We’re surrounded by fools. It’s enough to make you go out and buy a packet of B&H.

    No way was that “ode” on the Forum written by me. Amateur.
    I’m for rhyme

  3. Simon/Other

    So what do the editors at such a place actually do if they don’t check the quality, accuracy and subjectivity of contributions on their only topic? I know this field is popular but they can hardly be snowed under. They don’t do the work themselves do they?

  4. Some History

    Ruth Balone (pronounced ba.lo.nee) is in the upper echelons of Tobacco Control (prohibitionism). She’s gone much the same route as Australia’s own Simon Crapman – various stints at the WHO, editor of Tobacco Control (the Journal), academia. She is at the top of the heap of leftist career prohibitionists.

    Recent comments posted on some personal blogs impugn the objectivity of Tobacco Control and its reviewers, questioning our motives and the veracity of peer review.

    It’s not just recent comments. There are those that have been pointing out for many years that Tobacco Control is an agenda-driven rag.

    Balone is a prohibitionist working at antismoking central – University of California (San Francisco).
    http://nursing.ucsf.edu/news/ruth-malone-delivers-helen-nahm-research-lecture

    Tobacco Control joined the blogosphere in 2010. Here’s what Balone had in mind for the blog. It’s where the like-minded (prohibitionist) can share ideas on advancing the prohibitionist agenda.
    …editor Ruth Malone raises the issue of how important language is in defining and framing the tobacco pandemic and challenges readers to share their own creative ideas for “language weapons.” To entice you to join the conversation and make a suggestion, the best idea will win a one-year online subscription to Tobacco Control
    http://blogs.bmj.com/tc/2010/07/

    Puddlecote well summarizes:
    If you’ve ever tried to engage with a tobacco controller on Twitter, you might look at the length of your block list and piss yourself laughing that they claim to even bother responding on social media at all. But this seems to say that – with the intense amount of execrable bullshit they’ve been publishing of late – they are feeling the heat and officially removing themselves from the kitchen.

    Yesterday’s article, funny as it is, tells you quite a lot about the mindset of those at Tobacco Control. They like having the microphone; you are to be spoken to from on high, not to wrestle the microphone from their grasp and go doing your own thing. They do the telling, you do the listening, and if you want to criticise it must be done in the way they direct you to or you are not to be listened to at all.

  5. Another thing that came to mind is that most of the world’s ‘experts’ all seem to work in one form or another in a taxpayer funded, or partly taxpayer funded, organisation. Coincidence or what?

  6. King Koala

    The entire peer review system is a joke and academia is a scam.

  7. B Shaw

    “. . conforming with out pre-conceived biases . .”
    It’s disheartening.

    Well, I’m nothing if not fair :
    that Ode on the forum is actually excellent . . in parts

  8. B Shaw

    our pre-conceived biases

  9. Entropy

    I keep getting distracted by reading Puddlecote as Puddleglum.

  10. NuThink

    King Loala,

    The entire peer review system is a joke and academia is a scam.

    I just get my projects reviewed by my friend Pierre, so I can honestly say that my work is Pierre Reviewed.

  11. NuThink

    I meant to say in my above post that my friend Pierre is not in the same line of work as me and knows nothing about it, but it sounds good that I can say it is Pierre reviewed.

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