The Scientific Refereeing Process

Via shapr's blog I came across an article by what seems to be a very bitter mathematician yelling about the way scientific journals and conferences work.

In my experience the situation is not as bad as he describes it but there is a point to what he is saying nevertheless.

One reaction againts crappy researchers who organize conferences with no refereeing might be to fire them. The problem is, the universities that hire them might not be too keen on firing them. Why? Well, every university need to have its quota of scientists, right? It would look really bad for a university to not have any scientists. And since the number of research positions in universities is a log bigger than there are good researchers then universtities will fill their positions with lesser researchers.

Sigh. What to do about this whole mess? Well, I find comfort in that there is a lot of good research going on too. And I just try to do my part in increasing our knowledge, which is what science is all about.

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