Martin Paul Eve et al. "Reading Peer Review: PLOS One and Institutional Change in Academia" (Cambridge UP, 2021)


Listen to this interview of Martin Paul Eve (Birkbeck, University of London), Cameron Neylon (Curtin University), Daniel Paul O'Donnell (University of Lethbridge), Samuel Moore (Coventry University), Robert Gadie (University of the Arts London), Victoria Odeniyi (University College London), and Shahina Parvin (University of Lethbridge) about their book Reading Peer Review: PLOS One and Institutional Change in Academia, published this year by Cambridge University Press. The book is part of Cambridge UP's "Elements" series. It's also open access. We talk about excellence in higher education and about excellence in scientific research, and we talk about all the trouble that can bring.

Martin Paul Eve : "Yeah, I think that's right that in scholarly communication, we're dealing less with language and more with discourse. And the most frustrating defenses of the humanities disciplines try to claim some exclusivity around language and expression and so on. And really, when you're dealing with extremely complicated scientific concepts, the way you express them does matter, and if there isn't clarity in your expression, it leads to poor communication. I mean, part of the challenge here is that the evolution of the research article in the sciences means that you're only ever really getting a description of what has been done. And so making the description as perspicacious as possible is a core part of that. Now the questions is: Since we have practices like open data, like replication studies that attempt to give more of an insight into the process, into what's going on–––Do they obviate that need for such careful language usage, given that you're exposing more of the process itself or does it remain as important as ever. I think it's probably the latter. But it's interesting to me that this need for precision has evolved, that it does play a role, and  that reviewers nearly always comment upon it when they think it's lacking."

Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.

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