A Pseudoscience Pseudo-Preprint

PsyRxiv fails to screen out the most basic qualification for a preprint.

A letter signed by 124 scholars and posted last week on PsyRxiv argues that a theoretical construct for consciousness is “pseudoscience.”

This is not new research, nor a “finding” advanced via preprint to allow early feedback as to its veracity or quality. It is simply a group looking to pick a fight in their chosen field.

Nature News does a nice job covering it, but misses one important point — this is not what preprint servers were intended to do.

This is not a new scientific finding posted for a pre-submission critique, but an opinion piece, an open letter, a piece of argumentation, a provocation.

Once again, we see preprint servers incapable of screening at the most basic level. This is not a preprint, but an editorial.

With a history of being used and abused by corporate interests, being used to advance conspiracy theories (both intentionally and unintentionally), and a general disregard for peer-review via their very existence, we now have preprint servers being used to start a fight.

Can we get these things under control?