Paid Peer Review

So I keep getting these emails in my inbox:


Obviously I have edited out my name…

Requests to register for paid peer review

Does anybody else see the slippery slide that this puts us on? There are already enough fundamental problems with peer review. From my own personal experience I’ve seen editors who ignore reviews and publish fundamentally flawed papers because the authors happen to be their friends or some big name academic who they couldn’t possibly deny. To pretend that politics doesn’t play a part in academic publishing is like putting your hands over your ears and saying “lah lah lah, I can’t hear you!”.

Now bring money into the equation. People getting pressured to give a particular peer review outcome from a paper submission because of this petty political game – and if they don’t give the outcome the editor wants they don’t get paid? Right. You’d have to be delusional if you can’t foresee this happening.

Can we not pretend that editors are some bastion of moral fortitude? They’re not. They’re just as flawed as everyone else, only they have the power to effectively make or break someone’s academic career. How much more vicious will the publication politics get when money gets involved?

No thanks.

Yet another reason to get the fuck out of academia as soon as possible if this is where it’s heading.


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