Rossi on Peer Review

I posted a question to Andrea Rossi on the Journal of Nuclear Physics today regarding the upcoming third party report. Rossi has said that the report would be published in a ‘peer-reviewed magazine’, but I recall that prior to last year’s report he said the same thing, and it ended up being published on arxiv.org, which is kind of a pre-publication repository of science papers. So far the Levi report hasn’t made it into a peer reviewed magazine.

So I asked Rossi if he expected the report to be accepted in a peer review journal this time, and if not, whether it would be published on Arxiv.org again.

This is his response:

This is an issue that does not depend on me. I heard that the publication will be made on a peer reviewed magazine, but let me say also that when a paper is signed by 6 Professors coming from different scientific institutes it is already reviewed, because all the 6 must agree on the publication, and each of them reviews the work of the Others. Besides, Arxiv Physics has anyway a preliminar peer reviewing: many manuscripts are not published, because considered incomplete, even if endorsed from well known experts.

I think Rossi makes a good point here — it’s the quality of the report that counts, and the qualifications of the authors, and I don’t think the Levi report was any less important or useful because of where it is published. However, for some reason, many critics dismiss the report, and Rossi’s work in general because it has ‘not been peer reviewed.’ In terms of coverage by the mainstream scientific community and by the media, it does seem to make a difference where a report is published. For that reason, I do hope some courageous journal editor picks up the upcoming report.

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