Monthly Archives: April 2014
Interesting work about meningitis in Africa. This work has been done also by my incoming PhD student from Columbia University. It seems like this work can inform when to increase surveillance since it provides a set of predictors of meningitis outbreaks. The validation of the model is not performed for a very long period of time and the spatial and uncertainty component seems missing. I wonder whether there are alternative states (e.g. for different values of environmental factors) in outbreak events. I also wonder whether different types of meningitis are affected by the same set of environmental factors. The authors seem to neglect any socio-behavioral feature that may be quite predominant in the transmission of disease. In any event, good work because it generates questions and further work.
All in all I really would like to see a physical based model for meningitis. Further work for next year!
I have been wondered for long time the publishing policy of PNAS related to ”contributed papers” of NAS members.
Any member can find two reviewers at discretion, organize the review process, submit a paper and be editor of the same paper, isn`t that strange?
Now, this is not necessarily a complain, rather a statement of ”what is done and not explicitly mentioned” (or known) and targeted as ”bad” from other journals.
Any comment is very welcome.
Another approach to counter this problem is using a system of fully open peer review. BioMed Central operates open peer review on the medical titles in the BMC series (and has done for the past 10 years), and more recently biology titles too, for example, Biology Direct and GigaScience. This ‘openness’ is on two levels. The first is that authors will naturally see the reviewers’ names; the second is that if the article is published, the reading public will also see who reviewed the article and how the authors responded. It makes the process transparent, makes the reviewers more accountable and gives credit. We’ve also found the quality of reviewer reports is higher under a system of open peer review.
Biology Direct goes further and allows authors to select suitable reviewers from the journal’s Editorial Board, in a fully open and transparent way making peer review truly collaborative. In this scenario, you could indeed have a close colleague openly handle a friends manuscript, but be empowered to choose the hottest critics to review the work openly without fear of accusations of bias. So yes, a potential conflict of interest does not necessarily mean wrong-doing. F1000R value openness in their post-publication peer review approach too.