lördag 15 december 2012

New Theory vs Old Peer Review System

Our article New Theory of Flight, first rejected by AIAA Journal and now under review by Journal of Mathematical Fluid Mechanics (JMFM), raises an important question as concerns the peer review system with anonymous referees used in scientific publishing.

The negative referee reports from AIAA show that the fluid dynamics community will do whatever is needed to suppress the New Theory in defense of the Old Theory.

If JMFM were to choose referees from this community the New Theory would have to be rejected by JMFM. On the other hand, JMFM has already published our article Resolution of d'Alembert's Paradox underlying the New Theory by relying on expertise outside the fluid dynamics community, with basis in mathematics and computation.

But Wikipedia being controled by the fluid dynamics community has blocked every reference to this published article in the Wikipedia article on d'Alembert's paradox, with details recorded on Wikipedia Inquisition, and so the publication in JMFM does not count. JMFM is outside while Journal of Fluid Mechanics (JFM) and AIAA Journal are inside.

It is thinkable that JMFM could likewise publish the New Theory, by finding referees endorsing the New Theory. But these referees could not come from inside the fluid dynamics community and thus would lack scientific credibility. In short:
  • Referees from inside the fluid dynamics community will reject the New Theory, even if it is correct, because it challenges the Old Theory. 
  • Referees outside the fluid dynamics community cannot endorse the New Theory, even if it is correct, because they lack scientific credibility.   
This shows that the conventional referee system does not seem to be functional in this case of a New Theory challenging an established Old Theory: Either the New Theory will be rejected without good reason, or it will be published without good reason.

The only possibility in this case is to publish the article without the usual refereeing process and invite to an open discussion of the New Theory vs the Old Theory.

What seems to be needed is thus
  • A: open refereeing process after publishing with non-anonymous referees,
instead of
  • B: closed refereeing process before publishing with anonymous referees.
If there once in the era of analog printing on paper was a reason for preferring B before A, because what was once printed on paper remained printed on paper, this reason no longer holds in the digital era of electronic publishing where rejection and erasing can be done at any time.

Functional science like functional society can only be maintained through open discussion by people with names and faces. Science and politics behind closed doors is against the basic principle of science and democracy of open critical inquiry.

In this light the censorship by KTH of my book Mathematical Simulation Technology recorded as KTH-gate, is troublesome for KTH and a nuisance for me.  

Inga kommentarer:

Skicka en kommentar