Friday, June 20, 2014

Walk this way, over to The Winnower

Holly has a new piece up over at The Winnower in which she describes the difficulty of getting students to understand the nuances of what's known about Neanderthals. Fine piece, very much worth a look.

The Winnower is a new open access online journal, with post publication peer review, also very much worth a look.


Ken Weiss said...

What? But, but, ...but The Winnower's not 'PEER REVIEWED!'. How can I waste my precious thoughts that way? Well....

First, it IS peer reviewed, all the time, by comments. And openly.

Second, how many peer reviewed articles do you know that were overstated or didn't stand up to scrutiny of future work because they were too narrow, or too hasty, etc. (e.g., Cosmic inflation? Arsenic life? countless (daily) minor examples). How often do reviewers really take the time to scrutinize the masses of 'supplemental' information?

Track down citations and see how often the citers didn't actually read the paper (this has been done by others, finding that mis- or pro-forma citation is very common, and here we don't count self-citation).

The truth is that peer reviewing catches some errors and improves clarity and so on but just as often serves as a conservative gate-block to new ideas and open gate to the ordinary.

So open-forum publication is different, less stuffy, less postured, and can be every bit as thoughtfully relevant, durable, and valuable as technical journals.

Those young readers of this or other blogs and the like, and who want to change the system, have to get in their with both hands and help.

Holly Dunsworth said...

This would be a perfect time and place to link to yours Research, Teaching, Service: is a new academic syzygy forming?