Respected journal brings public to peer-review process
The scientific journal Nature has added a new element to its system of reviewing articles for publication---posting submissions online and allowing feedback from recognized scientists and institutions. The posting of pending research is meant to support, not replace, the traditional peer-review process, which has come under increased scrutiny as of late for failing to weed out shoddy or even fraudulent research. Nature's editors hope that poorly drawn conclusions and flaws in experimental design, will be more easily flagged with more eyes reviewing them. The move is a nod to the growing accountability of scientists, public officials, and legislators, to the online community and to the increasing popularity and usefulness of user-generated content. This could become a useful tool for exposing conflicts of interest which have become a hotly contested topic as of late.
[Link: Wall Street Journal (subscription only)]