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Sunday, 24 December 2017
On Why Peer Reviewed Articles are Not the Be All and End All
The Internet Journal of Criminology, of which I am co-founder and Chief Editor is an excellent place to publish your peer reviewed articles. However, in this blog post I write about other papers you can publish in the primary research papers section of that journal. What better way to lead than by example. And so, back in 2010, I published a paper on spinach, iron and a decimal point error story. That paper was born of a myth that I originally thought was a fact. Let me explain.
In 2010, at Manchester University, Professor Machi Tseloni and I gave a paper on fear of crime. In the presentation I gave an example of how bad data can lead to bad policy making. The example I used was the apocryphal tale of how a decimal point error led to scientific overestimation of the iron content of spinach, which led to Popeye's creator making spinach the source of his superhero's strength and the dreadful consequence that generations of children were made to eat the bitter slimy stuff.
The very next day, I set about writing what would eventually be a peer reviewed criminological article (Sutton and Tseloni 2011) on fear of crime. Whilst that article was in its first draft stage, I looked for the veracious source of the decimal error and spinach story in the literature. The fact it could not be found led to the publication of another totally different paper in the IJC. That paper is entitled 'Spinach, Iron and Popeye: Ironic lessons from biochemistry and history on the importance of healthy eating, healthy scepticism and adequate citation.
That spinach mythbust primary research paper is so revolutionary, I knew it would never have made it past peer reviewers into any other journal. Yet look at the image below to see just some of the books that have now cited it. Never mind how many peer reviewed articles and popular magazines and news items have cited it. That is scholarly impact. And that impact will grow. That IJC article is changing the world for the better. Isn't that the primary purpose of academic journals, of academics, of universities?
Books Citing the Spinach Myth, Click to enlarge for easier reading
The IJC was set up for to include the original work of lateral thinkers who are capable of thinking outside the box. That is how veracity leads the way in orignal and influential research.
So if you find your article has been rejected by another journal, arrange your own open peer review and send it to us at the IJC. Then let the criminological and wider academic community judge it on its own open peer reviewed merits. Or else do as I once did and publish it with us as a primary research paper, where it may still make a big impact, as my spinach mythbust paper did. And, as you can see, I can prove it.
By the way, here on Best Thinking, I solved the last part of the spinach and decimal point error riddle. You can read it here.
Sutton, M. (2010) Spinach, Iron and Popeye: Ironic lessons from biochemistry and history on the importance of healthy eating, healthy scepticism and adequate citation. Internet Journal of Criminology. Click Here
Sutton, M. and Tseloni, A. (2011). Area Crime and Fear of Crime Levels: Has analysis of the British Crime Survey diluted crime concentration and homogenised risk?' Criminology [εγκληματολογία ](Special Issue): Fear of Crime: A Comparative Approach in the European Context. pp. 32-39. In. C. Zarafonitou. (Guest Editor) October 2011 Athens: Law Library.
Clickable links to the books pictured that cite the IJC spinach, iron, decimal point error and Popeye mythbust:
Monkeys, Myths and Molecules: Separating Fact from Fiction in the Science of Science of Everyday Life. Here
The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date. Here.
Mit Freude läufts besser: Durch wingwave positive Emotionen fördern und. Here
Despite Corporate Managerial Limited Robotic Pathway Metric Binary Sheeplike Obsessions, Academic Impact is not Necessarily Dependent Solely Upon Peer Reviewed Articles. So why not measure and metricize all academic impact? https://t.co/1GhFNXTDmrpic.twitter.com/xFA3h0cVIz