Are More Options Always a Good Thing? The Backfiring Effects of Academic Proliferation

The past decade has ushered in dramatic growth in the number of postsecondary degree options available to US students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the US increased by 22 percent from 2010 (1.6 million) to 2019 (2.0 million). Likewise, master’s degrees increased by 20 percent, … Continue reading “Are More Options Always a Good Thing? The Backfiring Effects of Academic Proliferation”

Misusing Editorial Power to Censor Unpopular Research

Academic freedom is under assault by people who want to control research and speech. One of their strategies exploits the gatekeeping functions of journal editors to censor unpopular ideas. The leading open-access journal in the field of intelligence research, the Journal of Intelligence, has a policy listed on its website since 2018 that states, “The … Continue reading “Misusing Editorial Power to Censor Unpopular Research”

The Mess That Is Science Publishing

Researchers have been grumbling about the state of scientific publishing for years. Now, rumor has it that the Trump administration (yes, those science-haters!) may be trying to fix at least one problem: access to reports of government-funded research. The rumored proposal will require free, immediate access to all reports of government-funded scientific research. The rumor … Continue reading “The Mess That Is Science Publishing”

The Tangled Web of Scientific Publishing

Science Publishing Is Incoherent, Expensive, and Slow Communication is essential to science. The aim of scientific publication is to convey new findings as quickly as possible to as many interested parties as possible. But the world of “peer-reviewed” scientific publishing no longer functions as it should. Many publishing practices were devised at a time when … Continue reading “The Tangled Web of Scientific Publishing”

Peer Review: the Publication Game and “the Natural Selection of Bad Science”

Editor’s Note: This is part II; part I can be found here. Professor Brian Wansink is head of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. The lab has had problems, some described in an article called “Spoiled Science” in the Chronicle of Higher Education early in 2017: Four papers on which he is a … Continue reading “Peer Review: the Publication Game and “the Natural Selection of Bad Science””

How Is Science Judged? How Useful Is Peer Review?

The British journal Nature, home in 1953 to Watson and Crick’s important DNA paper, was by 1966 rather in the doldrums, with a backlog of submitted manuscripts and losing ground to the general-science leader, the U.S. journal Science. That year, however, the publisher appointed as editor one John Maddox, a slightly eccentric theoretical physicist and … Continue reading “How Is Science Judged? How Useful Is Peer Review?”