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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Double blind scientific review

John Denney over at Evilutionary Biologist makes an interesting point: How often and how much knowing the reputation of the author of a paper influences the opinion we get from reading it?

The discussion was sparked by a piece on the journal Nature.

Would it not be better if the review process was double blinded, as it happens in the case of clinical trials of new drugs?

I do happen to think it is a good idea too.

It is certainly possible to guess who the author of the paper is from the subject, his writing style and (possibly) the amount of self-citations(!).

But one more hurdle to accepting a paper as a gold nugget just because it's been crapped up (down) by Dr Eminent can't hurt, can he?

I am personally in the middle of the final touches to my paper before submission - and I think that another good point of it is that reviewers who will happen to read it (if it gets accepted for review, that is) will not know my name so they will not black list me for future collaborations.

Oh, come on, a bit of self-confidence, Dr Fenu...

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