A world without referees

Posted in General by Julyan Arbel on 10 April 2012


In an invited contribution to the last ISBA Bulletin, Larry Wasserman discusses the  “almost 350 years old” peer review system (paper). Have a look on it, it’s quite thought provoking!

We should think about our field like a marketplace of ideas. Everyone should be free to put their ideas out there. There is no need for referees. Good ideas will get recognized, used and cited. Bad ideas will be ignored. This process will be imperfect. But is it really better to have two or three people decide the fate of your work?

A world where you put your work on arXiv or on your web page, where you save so much time, isn’t it tempting?


2 Responses

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  1. Pierre Jacob said, on 11 April 2012 at 15:52

    I really liked this article as well. The end especially, when Wasserman notices that everyone criticizes the peer review system, but at the same time seems to hold on to it like a life buoy. I always find the lack of imagination among researchers very worrying.

    The problem for us young researchers is that we can’t seriously despise journals before having put a lot of articles in there. Otherwise it’d look like we’re criticizing a system because it’s not favorable to us, or because we’re afraid of it. On the other side, we’re the ones that are going to suffer from this system for the longest time.

  2. […] made me realise I had missed the latest ISBA Bulletin when I read what Julyan posted about Larry’s tribune on a World without referees. While I agree on many of Larry’s […]

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