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James Fetzer: Peer Review

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posted on Jul, 3 2006 @ 10:54 AM
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Professor Fetzer,

On the S991T site are three papers that are described as having been “peer reviewed.” I would like to discuss this process with you if I may.

Before I begin, I would like to establish a baseline definition of the term Peer Review. For that purpose, I would like to refer to the Wikipedia article ”Peer Review.”

The problem for S911T, as I see it, is that the 911 issues tend to cover a wide range of disciplines, from structural engineering, to political science to pilot training, to name a few. Thus, unless an article or paper is narrowly focused on a singe issue, it can span many of these subject areas.

This, quite obviously, creates a problem is a paper is to be peer reviewed. Namely, how is the appropriate peer to be chosen?

For instance, do we define the peers to be anyone involved in the “911 truth” movement, or S911T, regardless of their level or area of expertise? Technically this may be the most accurate method of adhering to the standard definition of “peer review.” In other words, the only criterion to be a peer is to be a member of S911T.

While this may technically satisfy the standard definition of a peer, it is altogether insufficient. In a practical sense, this would wash out the qualifications to the point where it would make a mockery of the term peer review.

Furthermore, under this interpretation, any secondary areas of expertise would be moot. For instance, a reviewer’s academic qualifications would be immaterial and of no importance to the issues.

Obviously this is an unacceptable interpretation of what constitutes a peer.

Therefore to give the peer reviews process any meaningful value, it is essential that the peers be chosen for their expertise in the subject matter at hand.

For instance, if a professor in medieval art were to write a paper that covers the subjects of microbiology and astrophysics, who should review it? Should it be a dentist, another art historian, or experts in microbiology and astrophysics?

QUESTION #1

What are the criteria for selecting a “peer” to review a paper? In particular, if a paper covers a range of disciplines, how to you choose who will review it?


Now the traditional processes for a print based journal may not be totally appropriate for S911T, I can accept that. However, if S911T is going to promote certain papers on its web site as being peer reviewed, then you need to have some sort of policies, procedures and standards for the peer review process.

For instance a couple of valid questions might be:

”Is the author qualified to make the claims being made?”

Or “Does the conclusion follow logically from the data?”

So,

QUESTION #2

What are the procedures and standards used in the peer review process once the appropriate reviewers have been chosen?









[edit on 3-7-2006 by HowardRoark]




posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 06:40 PM
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Jim Hoffman lodged complaints like this in several attacks on me and Scholars for 9/11 Truth. I have replied in a piece archived there entitled, "What's the Matter with Jim Hoffman?". We have extensive experience with publishing and editing. I edited the journal SYNTHESE for 10 years, founded and edited MINDS AND MACHINES for 11, and founded and edited a professional library, STUDIES IN COGNITIVE SYSTEMS, which has 30 volumes. I have published 27 books, David Ray Griffin 30. We have also served on multiple editorial boards. Check me out at my academic web site, which is found at www.d.umn.edu... . If we don't know what we are doing in relation to "peer review", I can't imagine who does. Steven's paper was reviewed by four Ph.D.s, including two in physics. That is very appropriate, since his is a paper in physics. David's and mine were multiply reviewed. I have no doubt that we are making appropriate use of the phrase, "peer reviewed". If you want more, go to the piece I have archived on Hoffman. It is quite revealing on other issues as well. Thanks.

[edit on 13-7-2006 by James Fetzer]



posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by James Fetzer
Jim Hoffman lodged complaints like this in several attacks on me and Scholars for 9/11 Truth. I have replied in a piece archived there entitled, "What's the Matter with Jim Hoffman?". We have extensive experience with publishing and editing. I edited the journal SYNTHESE for 10 years, founded and edited MINDS AND MACHINES for 11, and founded and edited a professional library, STUDIES IN COGNITIVE SYSTEMS, which has 30 volumes. I have published 27 books, David Ray Griffin 30. We have also served on multiple editorial boards.


How many papers on structural or forensic engineering have you written or reviewed?



Steven's paper was reviewed by four Ph.D.s, including two in physics.


Thus half the people woho reviewed it had no academic background in the subject matter that you claim for it.



That is very appropriate, since his is a paper in physics.


Are you sure? I though it was a paper in conspiracy theory.


Seriously. Since the paper covers a number of issues related to structural and forensic engineering, I would expect that some review by people knowledgeable in those fields would be more appropriate.



 
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