An Antidote to One Publication Bias

John Antonakis talks about the five diseases of research publication, and they are worth noting for both their accuracy and fantastic nomenclature:

  • Significosis – an inordinate focus on statistically significant results
  • Neophilia – an excessive appreciation for novelty
  • Theorrhea – a mania for new theory
  • Arigorium – a deficiency of rigor in theoretical and empirical work
  • Disjunctivitis – a proclivity to produce large quantities of redundant, trivial, and incoherent works

While each of these “publication diseases” is serious in their own way, their comorbidity has seriously impacted access to insights, opposing views and very likely individual career paths.

The world of academic publishing has an infrastructure with important checks and balances that offer antidotes to Antonakis’ five diseases. But what about the immense amount of knowledge and information published outside of academia? We must assume that research and information outside academia (aka grey literature) is also blighted by these diseases and others, including a lack of peer review.

Without the gold standard of peer review to ensure the integrity of grey literature, those of us who sustain and nourish this universe of alternative publishing channels must fortify ourselves with a regular dose of honest and transparent feedback from peers we admire and trust.

Where do we find this antidote?

The question is not “Where do we find?” because we all know where to find our peers. The question is really “How… how can we find an antidote to traditional publication biases?” By using a platform where readers are matched to research, “true peer” reviews can happen in a standardized and transparent community. Welcome to GreyLit, where qualitative reviews from true peers, are seasoned with quantitative analytics.

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