In case you’re reading Cognitive Daily on RSS or don’t always check out the links to the (generally very good) seedmagazine.com articles in the column just to the right of this blog, I did want to point you to an article I wrote for them about peer review.
One of the things we like to do on Cognitive Daily is take a closer look at psychology articles in the mainstream media, to see if the media reporting on research matches up with the actual data. But we’ve been frustrated recently on several occasions because the actual data hadn’t been published yet.
The answer isn’t as simple as you think: just saying “scientists shouldn’t release data until it’s been peer-reviewed” could mean that important, timely data gets ignored. But if the data hasn’t been published in a scholarly form, then other scientists have no way of informing the public when claims have been overblown. The article explores the issue in depth, asking whether there are occasions when it makes sense to skip peer review and go directly to the press.