How To Find Out If An Article Is Peer Reviewed

How To Find Out If An Article Is Peer Reviewed – By the time students get to high school, most have learned that they don’t believe everything they read on the Internet. But even when students graduate from college, few of them realize that they cannot believe everything they read in scientific journals. This article discusses how to distinguish documents that are relatively reliable from those that are best treated with extreme skepticism.

But before we get into the details, we want to make one thing clear: all scientific work can be wrong. No matter where it was published, no matter who wrote it, no matter how well-reasoned its arguments, any scientific article can be wrong. Every hypothesis, every set of data, every claim, and every conclusion is subject to revision in the light of future evidence. Conceptually, it derives from the essence of science. Empirically speaking, this can easily be seen on the pages of Nature and Science. We have seen it many times. The most brilliant scientists and elite journals published claims that turned out to be completely false.

How To Find Out If An Article Is Peer Reviewed

No. Peer review, although an important part of the scientific process, does not guarantee that published articles are correct. Reviewers will read the article carefully to make sure that its methods are sound and that the reasoning is logical. They ensure that the paper accurately reflects what it adds to the literature and that its conclusions follow from its findings. They suggest ways to improve the work and sometimes recommend further experiments. However, reviewers can make mistakes, and more importantly, reviewers cannot review all aspects of a paper. In most cases, reviewers do not repeat the study, rewrite the code, or even delve too deeply into the data. Although useful, peer review cannot catch every innocent error, let alone detect well-disguised acts of scientific misconduct.

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Consequently, there is no sure way for you, the reader, to know beyond doubt that any scientific article is correct. Usually, the best you can do is determine that the document is legitimate. Legitimate means that it can reasonably be concluded that the work (1) was written in good faith, (2) was conducted using appropriate methodology, (3) was taken seriously by the relevant scientific community. If the paper is a legitimate scholarship, it may still turn out to be wrong, but at least you’ve done your due diligence. In the rest of this article, we’ll look at how you can determine if a document is legitimate. Where was the work published?

Scientists often look to scientific journals to give their work legitimacy. In a nutshell, the process works like this. The researcher submits his work to a journal. The paper is sent to other researchers in the field for peer review; Reviewers decide whether an article deserves publication, needs revision, or is not of sufficient quality for the journal. Although these reviewers cannot vouch for the validity of every aspect of an article, they can assess the adequacy of procedures, results, and interpretations.

Researchers see different journals as different positions in a rough hierarchy; this hierarchy is well known (and probably overemphasized) among scientists. In general, other things being equal, articles published in top journals will represent the greatest progress and have the most credibility, while articles published in mid-tier journals will report modest progress (though not necessarily with less credibility). Papers in lower-ranking journals report the least interesting or least credible results.

A quick way to judge the legitimacy of a published article is to learn more about the journal in which it was published. Several websites aim to assess the quality or prestige of journals, usually determined by citation. Highly cited journals are considered better than their less cited competitors. Among these rating systems, the Journal Impact Factor is the gold standard. A journal’s impact factor measures the ratio of citations received over a two-year period to the number of reference articles published during the same period. Although what constitutes a high impact factor varies by field, a reasonable rule of thumb is to consider any journal listed in Journal Citation Reports as at least somewhat respected, any journal with at least 1 respected journal, and any journal which has an echo factor of at least 10 excellent. Unfortunately, impact factor results are only available in bulk through a subscription service called Clarivate Journal Citation Reports (JCR).

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There are also several free alternatives to Journal Impact Factor. We, the authors, provide a collection of journal metrics called eigenvalue metrics. These metrics cover the same set of journals included in the JCR. We also offer a Chrome extension for PubMed that colors search results according to our metrics. The major advertising publisher Elsevier offers other metrics based on its Scopus database. Scopus covers a larger pool of journals than JCR, but we and others have been concerned about the potential conflicts of interest that arise when a major journal publisher begins to rank its own journals against its competitors. Google Scholar provides journal rankings in the form of h-index scores.

Another reasonable check on the legitimacy of a work is to examine the reasonableness of the work’s defense claims. In particular, one must be careful with unusual requests that appear in lower positions. You can think of it as the scientific version of “if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” In other words, if your article is so great, why is it in a lower ranked journal?

So if an article titled “Some Weights of Coastal Frogs” lists the weights of some frogs in the little-known Tasmanian Journal of Austral Herpetology, there’s no need to worry. The frog weight chart, while it may be useful to some experts in the field, is far from being a scientific discovery and is very well suited to the magazine. However, if the equally lowly Journal of Westphalian Historical Geography publishes an article entitled “Evidence that Neanderthals died out during the Hundred Years’ War,” that is a serious concern. If true, the discovery would revolutionize our understanding of hominin history, not to mention shake up our idea of ​​what it means to be human. Such a discovery could easily be published in a highly respected journal. If not, that’s a strong sign that something is wrong with the story.

Although the examples above are hypothetical, there are many real-life examples. For example, in 2012, TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz used his show to promote a research paper that allegedly showed that green coffee extract had almost miraculous properties as a weight loss supplement. Despite this incredible claim, which could have a huge impact on hundreds of millions of lives, the article did not appear in top medical journals such as JAMA, The Lancet or NEJM. Instead, it appeared in a little-known journal called Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity: Target and Therapy from a fringe science publisher called Dove Press. The journal is not even listed in Journal Citation Reports. This should raise alarm bells for any reader, and indeed, if we look closely at the article, the results are based on a clinical trial with a ridiculously small sample size of 16, a sample far too small to justify the strong claims the article makes. .

Where Can I Find The

It turns out that the small samples and infamous location of the green coffee extract paper described above are only part of the story. The paper was subsequently retracted as its data could not be verified.

Although recalls are not common, it may be a good idea to check for a recall or patch before investing too much in the results of a scientific paper. The easiest way to do this is to simply look up the paper on the publisher’s website, or even better, if it’s a biomedical paper, on PubMed. If an opt-out has occurred, it will be clearly marked as such in these locations. Below is the PubMed retraction notice for the green coffee extract paper. Inevitable.

Compare the PubMed notice above with your own journal’s retraction notice below. The “highly visited” sign at the top is more noticeable than the fact that the article has been taken down!

The withdrawal process can take a long time, and journals have little incentive to move quickly. Therefore, it can be valuable to monitor post-publication peer reviews – that is, direct comments made outside of traditional journal publishing. While it can be difficult to find every comment posted by someone, pubpeer.com aims to serve as a central repository for these types of comments. Pubpeer allows anonymous comments, which can be useful in that it allows whistleblowers to point out duplicate images and other evidence of errors or misconduct. Although not everyone is a fan, we find this site very useful. We’ve installed their extensions for Firefox and Chrome, which alert us with an orange bar (shown below) when an article or quote is being discussed

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