Post-publication review (and accusations of misconduct): signs of the times

Reupping this post because it seems to be timely again. I think it holds up fairly well (not perfectly).

3 thoughts on “Post-publication review (and accusations of misconduct): signs of the times

  1. Blast from the past. I was reminded of this post by Andrew Gelman, from a couple years later, but also focused on these cultural changes in how (and how politely) published research is criticized.

    https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2016/09/21/what-has-happened-down-here-is-the-winds-have-changed/

    Gelman emphasized that criticism commonly goes from “The author seems to have made a mistake” to “The author seems to be incompetent” when authors ignore the criticisms and repeat the same errors after critics point them out. And then things start to seem personal.

    Some authors seem to reflexively make PPR personal. The jade-amulets-prevent-COVID guy immediately called his critics racists. Oona Lonnstedt immediately accused her critics of jealousy, and called the criticism “psychological terror”, then she lawyered up. This personalization of criticism by those criticized will tend to make PPR harder to carry out in cases where the critics are seen as punching down.

  2. 1) in some cases there is some history involved, 2) what I do not understand is why the one that arises a critique does not contact the author first to check if there is misconduct or misinterpretation involved. By criticising openly, things become a little bit more personal given the fact that we are living in the modern time when an email can reach you in a second, or a call across the Atlantic does not cost you anymore.

    • “what I do not understand is why the one that arises a critique does not contact the author first”

      The critics *do* contact the authors first, in many cases I’m aware of. I don’t know the exact fraction of cases in which this happens. It’s surely not 100%. But it’s not trivially small either.

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