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Re: A little off subject...Re: Sue had no wishbone...

From: "Matthew Bonnan" <mbonnan@hotmail.com>
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001 6:59 AM

>>> Therefore, peer review IS a great criterion for evaluating the
scientific importance and/or value of the article.  This is why we trust the
results of peer reviewed medical journal...<<<

While I agreed with most of what you said in your response, I don't agree
that peer-reviewing automatically results in papers of scientific importance
and value. Despite the high ideals, peer-review means having to satisfy
typically two or three very human reviewers and one editor before your paper
is published. Such people are not infallible, and heaven forbid may even be
biased or narrow-minded in their thinking (tell me you haven't had a paper
rejected and thrown that accusation at one of your reviewers!). I know I've
read several papers over the years which frankly contributed nothing to
science because of a flawed approach, ambiguous data, and woolly or biased
thinking. Don't get me wrong - I think peer-review provides an important
critical threshold, but at the same time it would be unscientific of us to
take any conclusions at face value without applying our own critical
thinking to them.

Adam Britton