The Biased Influence In Evaluating Scientific Papers

PLoS medicine has a very interesting article on the problem of bias for submitted scientific papers. I find it also interesting that many of the authors of scientific papers which are rejected always complain about the editors being incompetent and generally want the evaluation done by a specific group of experts, or a biotech company.

This actually happens a lot in court rooms as well, given the fact Judges are known to rule certain ways either fairly harsh or not particularly harsh at all, or the lawyer may have a record of favorable rulings with certain Judges, so lawyers generally want to bring their cases to those Judges who they know might give them the advantage. Of course it doesn’t always work out that way.

“Sometimes distortion of the scientific record may be limited in scope, relating to just one paper. But when a single company funds virtually an entire research agenda on a particular topic, there is the potential for wider and far more damaging distortion.

In a detailed analysis of documentation released as part of a class-action lawsuit relating to the drug gabapentin (Neurontin), Kay Dickersin has described “…a remarkable assemblage of evidence of reporting biases that amount to outright deception of the biomedical community, and suppression of scientific truth concerning the effectiveness of Neurontin for migraine, bipolar disorders, and pain…” -PLoS Medicine

I agree, there is much bias in the scientific community’s papers, just like in other media outlets as well. The editorial in PLoS has not one, not two, but five proposes in trying to remedy the problem.

“Journals generally have policies regarding declaration of competing interests by authors. Similarly, editors’ political and scientific views, personal relationships, and professional and financial interests can all conceivably interfere with the objectivity of their decisions.”

I also agree with the assessment which is right on target as the bias often times happens with those sort of situations. Also, reprint sales from these scientific Journals are unknown as they don’t want to publish the profits the they make and I suspect the reason why is because it’s a pretty sizable number, which makes it a major factor in accepting or rejecting scientific papers because of the pretty good sizable profits to be made there is a great deal of motivation in selecting scientific papers that may make more money than others

The possible solution for this problem is open-access publication which PLoS recommends. This is not to say all privately owned publications should have to follow suit in what would be considered “the fairness doctrine.” But unlike science or nature, the Creationist Journal doesn’t require a subscription fee for each article and often times publishes for free some of it’s articles.

Finally, I don’t agree with many papers accepted and published in PLoS with the evolution slant to it, that’s not to say such papers should be censored but on the hand, I would like to see the other side of the argument (creationism or intelligent design) being presentated as well and have the same consideration. It is more likely that a creationist publication would be more willing to present both sides than a publication which promotes evolution.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “The Biased Influence In Evaluating Scientific Papers

  1. Michael says: “Finally, I don’t agree with many papers accepted and published in PLoS with the evolution slant to it, that’s not to say such papers should be censored but on the hand, I would like to see the other side of the argument (creationism or intelligent design) being presentated as well and have the same consideration. It is more likely that a creationist publication would be more willing to present both sides than a publication which promotes evolution.”

    What do you mean with ‘evolution slant’ ? There is only one good biological theory for the evolution at the moment, which is just called ‘evolution’. There *is* no other side of the argument at the moment (no evidence at all, certainly not for creationism or ID), so why should people present this ? If there were *any* evidence for creationism, *of course* it would be presented and discussed. But there simply isn’t. Everything that has been proposed so far has been rebutted, so until something real pops up, it won’t be published. If it does show up, loads of people will publish, and publishers *will* rush out to be the first to print it. Of course ! That’s how they will make money.

    And you again play the ‘teach the controversy’ game: there is no dichotamy (just two theories), there are no ‘two sides’ of the argument (there should be many, not just two). As long as one theory is so obviously better than anything else, this is what people will concentrate on.

    Ideas without evidence to back it up will not be published. Is that so odd ??

  2. Eelco, are you a publisher for a science journal?

    Why would a science journal publish an article that goes against the ideas and theories it has already endorsed and published?

    They make their money through subscriptions and advertisements, they would lose money from the Darwinists dropping their subscriptions if a journal published anything in favor of ID or creationism. And if you think that Darwinists would not boycott a journal for this reason, look at how they are boycotting a whole state.

    Eelco, stop playing the “I can’t see you so you can’t see me” strategy to evidence. Just because Darwinist scientists dispute a piece of evidence for creation does not mean it is false. There are two sides, if not more, to every story. There is plenty of evidence for creation, if you choose to ignore it does not mean it does not exist.

    Michael: great post. I love the way Darwinists hide behind a corrupt peer review process that even Einstein rejected.

  3. mcoville: Eelco, are you a publisher for a science journal?

    No.

    mcoville: Why would a science journal publish an article that goes against the ideas and theories it has already endorsed and published?

    Because that is how science works … ideas change. Journals don’t endorse ideas or theories ! They just print them.

    mcoville: “Eelco, stop playing the “I can’t see you so you can’t see me” strategy to evidence. Just because Darwinist scientists dispute a piece of evidence for creation does not mean it is false. There are two sides, if not more, to every story. There is plenty of evidence for creation, if you choose to ignore it does not mean it does not exist.”

    I don’t play games. I do not see any evidence for creation. And I am not blind. What evidence, then ?

  4. Eleco,

    Why would a science journal publish an article that goes against the ideas and theories it has already endorsed and published?

    Peer review science journals are not objective then change their minds later because science changes as you try to imply because for one thing, there are competing theories among scientists with addition to creationism and intelligent design, so the publications are rather subjective. For example, there are some evolutionary scientists in Oxford who believe “Dark Matter” is an illusion and they are conducting further tests on this. There are also three other scientists who dispute the dark matter theory as well…

    “Three leading-edge researchers in the field of galaxy formation have published their findings that most large galaxies have formed and developed without the involvement of galaxy mergers. This historic development in cosmology provides an important missing piece to the universe’s cosmological puzzle.”

    “Avishai Dekel published his scientific paper this month, Michael J. Disney published his late last year and Jerome Drexler authored relevant books in 2006 and 2008.The most obvious immediate effect could be a paradigm shift away from the 24-year-old Cold Dark Matter theory of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs).”

    And another thing, it’s like saying natural selection would be subject for replacement like the dark matter theory could be with another natural phenomena. As you know, there is no such thing in evolution as replacing “natural selection” only describing how it works.

    Peer Review Publications have the internet now, so having space limitations should not be quite the factor it was years ago. It’s mainly bias now.

    In another post, You state; “And galaxies are not that big – plenty of space for them” but this is simply not a true and a honest statement. Your the only person I know of who believes in naturalism that disputes there are no huge galaxies. There is no evidence that all galaxies are small, in fact the Universe as we know it is enormous so it’s able to accommodate huge galaxies in it…Having plenty of space to dwell in doesn’t diminish the size.

  5. Michael: of course galaxies are big. But you were saying:
    “Such enormous structures (galaxies) in only a few billion years, indeed there is a problem there.”
    To which I responded: they are not that big, i.e. they are not TOO big to be able to form in a few billion years. Things happen relatively rapidly in the early universe (relatively !!! It is still slow for human timescales).

    As for the rest of the post, I’m afraid you are quite confused. Dekel (who I know relatively well) and Disney (quite a fun guy, bit of a maverick) talk about the formation of large galaxies in a single collapse (the so-called monolitic collapse model) instead of through mergers. But this has little to do with dark matter ! This has to do with the so-called merger history of galaxies.

    Dekel is quite a proponent of CDM (Cold Dark Matter), so I wonder which paper you are talking about. His last papers were about cold gas accretion in galaxies, as far as I remember.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s