Fortifying the Corrective Nature of Post-publication Peer Review: Identifying Weaknesses, Use of Journal Clubs, and Rewarding Conscientious Behavior

Abstract

Most departments in any field of science that have a sound academic basis have discussion groups or journal clubs in which pertinent and relevant literature is frequently discussed, as a group. This paper shows how such discussions could help to fortify the post-publication peer review (PPPR) movement, and could thus fortify the value of traditional peer review, if their content and conclusions were made known to the wider academic community. Recently, there are some tools available for making PPPR viable, either as signed (PubMed Commons) or anonymous comments (PubPeer), or in a hybrid format (Publons). Thus, limited platforms are currently in place to accommodate and integrate PPPR as a supplement to traditional peer review, allowing for the open and public discussion of what is often publicly-funded science. This paper examines ways in which the opinions that emerge from journal clubs or discussion groups could help to fortify the integrity and reliability of science while increasing its accountability. A culture of reward for good and corrective behavior, rather than a culture that protects silence, would benefit science most.

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Correspondence to Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva.

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Teixeira da Silva, J.A., Al-Khatib, A. & Dobránszki, J. Fortifying the Corrective Nature of Post-publication Peer Review: Identifying Weaknesses, Use of Journal Clubs, and Rewarding Conscientious Behavior. Sci Eng Ethics 23, 1213–1226 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-016-9854-2

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Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Anonymity
  • Errors in the literature
  • PPPR
  • Publons
  • PubMed Commons
  • PubPeer
  • Responsibility
  • Status quo