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    Monday, December 26, 2005

    Slow Track It: In that holiday BMJ is an editorial that hopefully won't get lost in the fun. It's a critique of fast tracking - a practice that rushes papers to publication before they've been adequately vetted:

    Authors who succumb to the lure of fast track publication fall into three categories: the naive, the opportunistic, and the self important.

    The naive are the ones who fail to realise what we just been discussing-that fast tracking is about raising the journal's status, not about offering a better service to authors.

    The opportunistic authors are those who find a way of hitching their paper to something topical in the hope that the journal's instinct for a scoop might trump any methodological deficiencies in the study. After the London bombings earlier this year, the BMJ was swamped with fast track papers about the management of post-traumatic stress.

    The least said about the self important, the better. They're the ones who believe that they, or let's be generous, their papers, are too consequential to wait in line. If it occurs to them that a corollary of fast tracking their paper might be a delay in the publication of papers whose authors have a more modest view of their place in the history of biomedical research, it doesn't bother them.


    In the wake of the Korean cloning scandal, it wouldn't hurt to reconsider those fast-tracking policies.
     

    posted by sydney on 12/26/2005 07:17:00 AM 0 comments

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