(I know at least one reader will be interested in this, thus making it a topic theme worth continuing…)
I have of late been banging my head at the ongoing frustration borne of repeat attempts to post comment on a pretty questionable, seemingly homeopathy-lauding paper published in a scientific medical journal. Yesterday, my eye was caught by something over at the BioMed Central blog, whence appeared an interesting post, entitled ‘Can open peer review work? Biology Direct suggests it can…’
Although Biology Direct is not the source of my irritation, it shares the BMC stable. Hence I take it that comments in the Editorial to which the blog post refers perhaps apply to other BMC journals. Indeed, BMC Cancer likewise apparently operates:
‘… open peer review, under which the signed reviews and the author responses are published as an integral part of the final version of each article.’
That Editorial states of this policy:
‘… we expected that [it] would generate productive scientific debate that would substantially add to the content of an article, in particular by alerting readers to potential problems with the reviewed work as well as additional relevant data and ideas.’
An ethos one might not unreasonably expect to extend to reader comments.
Why then is it so damned difficult to get a comment posted on a paper at BMC Cancer?!
Update (3/5/13 @ 1800): I’ve just received alert informing me that another comment containing a link to the newly-published paper I briefly discussed last week has just gone live. As has (@ 1830) the previous longer comment (included at the foot of last week’s post). Which is nice. Thanks to Ciaran O’Neill and BMC Central admin.