My position: Anonymity doesn't improve things (see here and here).
Yeah, it does. And the
proof is in the pudding proof of the pudding lies in the eating. We've been through the evidence before. More comments and more vigorous exchanges on sites which permit anonymous commenting. Sites which do not remain mired in low-traffic land with a limited group of participants trading puns and pictures of their cats.
Has science become that much like the mob?
Are we as a group that thin-skinned, petty and vindictive that we're going to put out a hit someone's grant or whack another scientist's pub because they didn't think we used the right statistical test?
And if the answer is yes, we should start asking ourselves why that bad behaviour is tolerated, and how we can get rid of it.
Anyone spot the error of logic here?
The point, my dear Zen, is not so much whether it is a good or bad thing that people fear career reprisals for what should be our stock in trade. The question is whether they indeed fear such reprisals (with justification or not) and whether that fear keeps them from engaging in a desirable behavior, i.e., open discussion of papers and data.
The Third Reviewer bypasses should to overcome what is. Is it not obvious that if it succeeds it will take us closer to the should goal?
Besides, anyone who believes they can safely remain anonymous on the web is fooling themselves. Own every word you speak.
Yes and no. Sure, you comment enough, tick off enough people and eventually they will be able to figure you out. But post one comment on The Third Reviewer and I don't think there is a huge risk.
Also, remember that in the vast majority of cases we are talking about fear squelching the willingness to comment, not the reality of sanction. It is very unlikely that ever author that perceives a critical comment is going to track down the "culprit". This anonymous comment site doesn't guarantee that you will stay hidden but it sure changes the odds.
I have a blog. If I have something substantive to say, I'll say it here.
Right. Did you actually read my post on the topic? Coverage. Range. Focus. ...and not everybody even wants to blog, holmes. This comment lacks pretty seriously in the imagination department.
I wish the guys behind the site luck, because I think they'll need it. The history of researchers commenting on published papers is... not encouraging.
Heh, heh. Which is the whole bloody point, Zen! Let's try this another way. What is your hypothesis as to why the history of comment on published papers is so dismal?