On blogging and the irrelevance of academic peer review in multi-disciplinary fields

A Chemist in Langley

In my short blogging career I have been challenged, on more than one occasion, to submit my writing to peer-reviewed academic journals. My response has been to point out that my work undergoes peer review the second I post it online and that interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary science is not well served by the traditional academic peer review process. The sad reality is that academic peer-reviewed journals are not terribly relevant in the non-academic world. As I will discuss in this blog post, peer-reviewed academic journals serve a useful function in highly-specialized fields but they quickly lose their relevance for broader topics. As a consequence, in some fields peer-reviewed academic journals serve simply as a means by which academics can keep score (for their C.Vs) and to get, or block, promotions. That being said there is a constituency, mostly academic, that remains firmly convinced that peer-reviewed academic journals should form the…

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