The Null Device recently linked to a story about a professor who got a nonsensical, computer-generated article accepted for publication in a supposedly peer-reviewed, producer-pays-to-publish academic journal. It’s an interesting story, but what caught my eye was the professor’s carefully considered conclusions based on his experience:
From this one case, we cannot conclude that Bentham Science journals practice no peer review, only that it is inconsistently applied. . . While one should be careful not to generalize these results to other Open Access journals using similar business models, it does raise the question of whether, at least in some cases, the producer-pays-to-publish model may unduly influence editorial decision-making.
This type of thinking makes me miss the academic world; I think this is also a good example of the type of careful academic nuance that all too often gets lost when academic topics are presented to a wider audience.