The dissemination of science follows the conventional route of rigorous peer-review followed by publication in an accredited scientific journal. This process has been the standard foundation from which the general public can trust that the science is, at the very least, valid and honest. Of course this system is not without its flaws. Scientific papers of questionable authority, dishonest methodology, or simply flawed design frequently make it through the gates of peer-review. Politically charged papers possess strong biases and many high impact journals favor sexy or controversial topics.
Beyond the conventional route of peer-review, there exist a vast accumulation of gray literature – conference reports, technical notes, institutional papers, various articles written for specific entities that enter into general circulation without the filter of peer-review. Much of gray literature is valid, robust science, but much of it is not. The challenge is that sometimes gray literature is the only science available.
Continue reading Shades of Gray: Gray literature, peer-review, and the struggle for data in fisheries management
I am proud to host the latest edition of Scientia Pro Publica, a blog carnival that celebrates that best science, medicine, and nature writing aimed at the general public.
Melissa from Out Walking the Dog invites you to celebrate Bird Neck Appreciation Day. Learn how and why bird necks are so flexible and diverse.
Wendy from Bio Loser explains how fish react to their own reflection.
Sarah from Surprising Science shows us how we can find live online video of bird nests. It’s almost as cute as Puppy Cam.
Jeremy from Agricultural Diversity Weblog talks about genetically modified crops and how many people misunderstand them.
Madhu from Reconciliation Ecology tells an amusing story about how birds can be elitist. Certain bird species prefer to spend their time in more affluent parts of cities.
Dr. Shock summarizes everything you always wanted to know about body piercings and psychopathology. Find out if your kid’s new piercing is indicative of other high risk behaviors.
Christie helps us to understand the role of insulin at Nutrition Wonderland.
Akshat from Contemplation asks if fish oil supplements are any good for children.
Science and Society
Warren from Generally Thinking reminds us all to be skeptical of how science is reported by the news media. A careless fact-checker or a changed word can alter the entire meaning of a scientific study.
Mike from Theoretically Speaking believes that involving non-specialists will improve the peer review process. As more and more science becomes interdisciplinary, I hope his idea catches on.
That’s all for now.
The next edition will be hosted by Andrew at 360 Degree Skeptic. To submit a blog post, use this handy online form.