EducationRequired Readings

Fraudulent Peer Reviews, Teacher Strikes, School Sign-Up Chaos: It’s Required Readings!

It’s time for another batch of Required Readings! I’ve taken over the Thursday RR slot and I’d really appreciate any comments you might have about any of the articles I’ve chosen.


The Journal of Vibration and Control, a prestigious publication in the world of acoustics, has announced the discovery of a huge “peer review ring” which has led to the redaction of 60 of its previously-published papers. Assumed identities, completely fictitious scholars and authors reviewing their own work all seem to have featured heavily.


Many English schools were closed today as teachers joined a massive public sector strike across the UK. The strikes are in response to public sector cuts across the country and involved the NUT, one the main teaching unions in England. Union representatives and government spokespeople have disagreed about the level of impact that the strikes have had on schools over the course of the day.


Hundreds of New Orleans parents have queued for a second day in an attempt to sign their children up for public school. Proceedings had to be cancelled yesterday when over 800 people turned up at a Recovery School District sign-up event.


Required Readings are a list of links that you might find interesting! Look for them to appear every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Have some links you’d like to share? Submit them on our contact form!


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Alasdair is a high school English teacher in Scotland. He's a passionate skeptic and science fan, which is why he runs a discussion club for young skeptics in his school. He loves space and astronomy more than pretty much anything and is studying for a physics degree in his spare time in order to become qualified to teach science.

He lives with a cat made of distilled hatred and spikes.

1 Comment

  1. July 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm —

    The peer review scandal has been a topic of discussion in Libraryland, because we usually teach that peer review = trustworthy, or damn close to it. I’ve always explained evaluating information as more of a continuum, where you can’t quite trust even seemingly valid sources, such as the government or peer reviewed documents. (As an editor, I saw too much of the back end of peer review to think that just because an article survived the process it’s as pure as the driven snow.) On the other hand, when I hear our faculty whine about having to fill out lots of author paperwork before submitting a manuscript for consideration, I’m going to point them to this story.

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