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Re: Pickering's nomina nuda (was RE: Rob Gay's print-on-demand publication of Kayentavenator elysiae

On 12 June 2010 18:31,  <dinoboygraphics@aol.com> wrote:
> The era of self-publication really is
> over, and while it's possible that future innovations in publishing will
> reverse this, at the moment there seem to be far more pitfalls than benefits
> to the science if researchers endeavor to be their own publisher and editor
> at the same time.

Of course there is not really any quality issue at all with
self-publishing.  It's self-editing that's the problem.  (In practice,
this seems to go with self-publishing, hence the usual conflation.)

Part of the problem with talking about "peer-review" as a condition of
quality -- e.g. in the PhyloCode's provisions for what constitutes
valid publication -- is that different people can interpret the term
very loosely.  I've heard people insist that their work is
peer-reviewed because they had a friend look over it.  That's not what
we normally mean by the term: we mean that a disinterested editor (not
the author) has chosen reviewers, solicited reviews from them, and
imposed requirements on the author as a result -- to amend the
manuscript in some cases, or explain why the review is mistaken in
others.  The key point here seems not to be that a review has
happened, but that it's been done objectively by someone with no
personal stake in the outcome, and that a third party (the editor) has
some authority over the outcome.

So my thinking is that the bar that should be raised if we want to
improve the quality of publications is to consider invalid not
self-publication but self-editing.

(This, by the way, would mean some chapters in some edited volumes
would not be considered validly published.  Food for thought here.  It
would also have interesting implications for dissertations that were
examined and which had to have changes made as a result, so long as
the result of the process was made widely available.)