More on peer review: what is credible evidence?

Austin sent me this interesting article in the New York Times discussing a variety of interrelated issues: speed of peer review, open access journals, the role of scientists/journalists/bloggers, and who owns research, to name a few. Science and peer review are slow and methodical; the questions, problems and answers are many.

I learned from the NY Times article that the 6th Annual ScienceOnline conference is being held down the road from me at N.C. State University, a gathering that will confront many of these questions. And in the small world department, Anton Zuicker, co-founder of ScienceOnline, works at Duke University in communications for the Department of Medicine. Says Zuicker (aka @mistersugar on twitter):

As ScienceOnline co-founder Anton Zuiker puts it, the conference focuses on “finding creative ways to facilitate connections that lead to conversations, conversations that lead to networks, networks that support communities, all in the name of promoting science and our understanding of the worlds around us.”

I wrote a bit about suggestions for peer review, and got so many thoughtful responses and questions via email and in hallway conversations that I haven’t been able to distill them all to say more, and I realize I have more questions than answers. I am a consumer of and participant in peer review, not an expert in its conduct. However, nothing could be more important to this blog than a discussion about how to determine what constitutes credible evidence on which to base policy decisions?

I am going to attend some of this week’s ScienceOnline conference and report back. I will plan to live-tweet some of it, and if you want to follow along my twitter handle is @donaldhtaylorjr and the conference hashtag is #scio12. My frame for the conversation will remain, what is credible evidence?



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