Apr 16, 2011

Trial by Twitter: Are twitter and blogs changing the peer review process?

This article discusses how "blogs and tweets are ripping papers apart within days of publication, leaving researchers unsure how to react." This seems to me like the ultimate test for the robustness and value of research papers. Blogs and twitter now help filter out relevant and solid research. Social networks are also calling attention to interesting papers our there. The article ends up indicating that peer review is still like democracy: better than anything that is out there. But one hopes that social networks are increasing the demand for rigorous and useful research.

There are some private, paid, websites that claim to filter out good and relevant research, such as F1000. It seems to me that there are so many people making this for free that a paid service will have a difficult time surviving.

Just today I saw an example of a blog criticizing an article on phonemic diversity published in Science. Mark Liberman, the author of the post, is an expert linguist. The paper was published in the Science website yesterday (April 15) and was criticized in the blog today (April 16).

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