Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Trust Peer-review? Not Much!

Cartoons by Josh
Midday published an article headed

Pune techie busts science seminar racket

It appears that a computer scientist and technology entrepreneur from Pune,  India, Dr Navin Kabra, submitted two non-sensical papers and, after "peer review" one was published.
Navin Kabra, who graduated from Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, and later completed his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Wisconsin in the United States before returning to India, submitted the two fake papers to the International Conference on Recent Innovations in Engineering, Science &Technology (ICRIEST) which was held in Pune on December 29. The conference was organized by the “Institute of Research and Journals” (IRAJ). 
Both papers were auto-generated using freely-available online software. In fact, one paper has references to the Hindi movie, Sholay, and an entire section contains dialogues from a hit Hollywood film, My Cousin Vinny.
Evidently it normally costs Rs6000 to be published but Dr Kabra negotiated a 50% discount. This paper was "peer reviewed by an 'international jury' of engineers and university professors" and published.
The other paper was accepted by the conference, but not published as he did not pay the publishing fees. That paper even has a nonsensical name, but it completely escaped the international jury.
The title of this accepted but not published paper was:

 "Use of Cloud-Computing and Social Media to Determine Box Office Performance."  

This is obviously a money-making con. It wouldn't happen in the real scientific world of peer-review, would it!

Well, Would it?

Retraction watch has ended a busy 2013 with a post titled 


The preamble to this posts tells us
No question, 2013 has been a busy year at Retraction Watch. And no wonder: There have been more than 500 retractions in the scientific literature, according to Thomson Scientific's Web of Knowledge. We've posted roughly that many times, and had more than five million pageviews (thank you!).
Think about it.  500 papers that passed through the peer review process were subsequently retracted.

How good is the peer (or "pal") review process if 500 papers get through it! And what about Cook et al 2013. Somehow that paper survived  peer (pal) review  and yet it has been busted so many times. It was even rebutted by a peer reviewed paper "Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: a Rejoinder to ‘Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change’ Legates et al. (Sci Educ 22:2007–2017, 2013)

The Alarmists and their bed-wetting supporters still cling to "Is it Peer reviewed?" "Where's the peer reviewed paper?" "all Science must be peer reviewed..." etc etc

However this year we have seen
  • 500 peer reviewed papers retracted;
  • A peer reviewed rebuttal of Cook et al's peer reviewed nonsense;
  • Non-sensical "Use of Cloud-Computing and Social Media to Determine Box Office Performance" accepted by supposed peer review;

Do we accept un-peer reviewed science?

Try this:

E = mc2

In 1905, it was OK, Einstein was NOT peer reviewed, but 100 years later,it would be rejected. "Sorry, not peer reviewed. "

What rot!