Linkspam: academic rat race edition

A few links have been floating around among PhD comrades:

End of an ERA: journal rankings dropped:

[Australian Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Minister Kim Carr] chastised the research community, saying: There is clear and consistent evidence that the rankings were being deployed inappropriately within some quarters of the sector, in ways that could produce harmful outcomes, and based on a poor understanding of the actual role of the rankings… One common example was the setting of targets for publication in A and A* journals by institutional research managers.

Why is the Impact Factor still around?:

But even if these flaws were all fixed, the Impact Factor is of course entirely unsuited for ranking anything other than journals on principle grounds. Because the distribution of citations to the articles in a journal is so skewed, the actual correlation of the citations any individual article gathers with the Impact Factor of the journal it was published in, is very weak

The case against double-blind peer review:

How well does it work in practice? You would expect double-blind reviewing to favor people from outside academia. Yet Blank (1991) reported that the opposite is true: authors from outside academia have a lower acceptance rate under double-blind peer review.

(As a counterpoint, note the results of Budden et al, via the Geek Feminism linkspam.)

Free Science, One Paper at a Time:

The current publishing regime, [science publisher Mark Patterson] argues, locks up these functions too closely in the current, conventional version of the scientific paper — even though some of these functions can be met more efficiently by other means.

So what are these functions?

Registration is essentially a scientific claim of discovery — a marker crediting a particular researcher with an idea or finding. The current system registers these contributions via a paper’s submission date. Certification is essentially quality control: ensuring a paper is solid science. It is traditionally done via peer review. Dissemination means getting the stuff out there — publication and distribution, in printed journals or online. And preservation, or archiving, involves the maintenance of the papers and citations to create a breadcrumb trail other researchers can later follow back to an idea or finding.