HarryZ wrote:The researchers fear is that someone else will find out something important about cancer sooner than they would. Explain to me how that is something we should be fearing.
In a perfect world this would be great but even in the grass roots research world, research data is guarded. Being able to publish results first and having a better opportunity to obtain the limited research money that results from that is what the "game" is all about. I don't like it any more than you do but that is unfortunately the reality. My cousin's son is a PhD micro-biology cardiac system researcher and it's all about being first and getting that almighty grant money.
HarryZ wrote:I'm sorry that researchers have created a system for themselves (yes, they created it) that would "punish" them for being slower, but the solution is not to hide data! If they *had* to share the data, the reward system would change very quickly.
That would be nice but I doubt we will ever see that happen in our lifetime.
BioDocFL wrote: [Peer review] is a self-governing process that is necessary to avoid dubious data, faulty conclusions, and improper intrepretation of the data.
BioDocFL wrote: Valid data does eventually get shared. Publication in a controlled, although slow cumbersome process, is necessary. Without the process, we could have the tobacco industry releasing their 'data' and having it accepted with as much credability as any thoroughly peer reviewed study in a reputable journal.
BioDocFL wrote:It is the researchers who are contributing their time unpaid to conducting the peer review process in order to protect the public from faulty work, and yes, to protect their own areas of expertise from charlatans.
BioDocFL wrote:Peer review for publishing is not perfect, but what is a better approach and how do you implement and monitor an alternative?
BioDocFL wrote:And how do you keep from demotivating researchers if it takes away from recognition of their work? Researchers are self-motivated and accomplishment oriented.
We'll have to disagree that this is only realizable in a perfect world. I'm amassing empirical evidence to the contrary, so you might need to reconsider at some point. If we sit back and say "well, that's just how it is" we'll be stuck with this sort of situation. If we don't put up with it, it will change. But I'll admit, it sure is easier to just say "that's how it is."
I urge you to not be so defeatist. It's happening. PLoS, human genome project, our project, and now the mandate to make publications available for free after publication (with time delay, but it's a start. The NIH is even getting in on things and requiring data to come back and be shared for certain programs they fund.
The people with the money won't suffer if this were to change, therefore I contend that it is changable. The researchers aren't going to stop taking your money if they have to share. They'll grumble, but there isn't enough money around for them to just go somewhere else.
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