Re: A Note of Caution About "Reforming the System"

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 18:08:27 +0000

On Mon, 19 Feb 2001, Greg Kuperberg wrote:

> In mathematics peer review really serves two different purposes: To weed
> out papers that are *wrong*, and to segregate work by how *important*
> it is. It has really been true all along, since decades before the math
> arXiv even began, that most mathematicians can trust each other to produce
> correct work most of the time.
> I do wonder whether name recognition and self-policing would have
> vouchsafed the same quality all along.

This is a clear statement of Greg's hypothesis, and I will not debate
it further. Let's now wait for the empirical results to see how correct
it was for (1) mathematics, (2) physics, and (3) other disciplines.

Stevan Harnad
Professor of Cognitive Science
Department of Electronics and phone: +44 23-80 592-582
             Computer Science fax: +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton

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Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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