Reflection on the Fazlul Sarkar versus PubPeer (“John Doe”) Case
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Science is in a really complicated and troubled state. Perhaps, as never before, the culture of science has come under unprecedented scrutiny, and attack. In this state of conflict, scientists are finding themselves pitted against other scientists, and independent science watchdogs have emerged (Teixeira da Silva 2016) in an apparent bid to hold the scientific establishment accountable. This has been effectively achieved in recent years through acts of whistle-blowing, and public exposure or shaming, facilitated by powerful tools to mask commentators’ identities, including the ability to comment on sites like PubPeer (https://www.pubpeer.com/) or Retraction Watch (http://retractionwatch.com/), anonymously (Teixeira da Silva et al. 2017). A more conservative approach to post-publication peer review (PPPR) (Teixeira da Silva 2015), which involves both factual correction and whistle-blowing, is followed at and by PubMed Commons (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedcommons),...
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Conflict of interest
The author declares no conflicts of interest.
The author has commented anonymously on PubPeer and as a registered user.
- McCook, A. (2016). PubPeer wins appeal of court ruling to unmask commenters. http://retractionwatch.com/2016/12/07/pubpeer-wins-appeal-court-ruling-unmask-commenters/. Last Accessed December 9, 2016.
- Teixeira da Silva, J. A., Dobránszki, J., & Al-Khatib, A. (2017). Fortifying the corrective nature of post-publication peer review: Identifying weakness, use of journal clubs, and rewarding conscientious behavior. Science and Engineering Ethics. doi: 10.1007/s11948-016-9854-2. (In Press).Google Scholar