Debate Over Peer Review

Rossi’s announcement about the peer reviewing of his third party tests has caught many people by surprise. Most have anticipated that the third party would release the results of their testing to the journals of their selection.

However, Rossi recently said that the findings of the third party tests would be submitted to peer review, then released to the public. This has stirred up a great deal of argument and speculation surrounding the results.

This speculation is mostly due to the fact that peer review can be a black hole for scientific information. Sometimes, an article or discussion will be processed quickly, within weeks, and made public. Other times, the information being reviewed may never see the light of day.

This is partly due to the complexity of the study being reviewed, and partly dependent on the peer group doing the reviewing.

Rossi seems to think that the peer reviewing will only take about 2 to 3 weeks. However, this seems unlikely, considering that the testing was so protracted and faced with complications. Keep in mind, too, that cold fusion and LENR have been in the realm of pseudo-science for 20 years, and are slowly gaining acceptance by a few “mainstream” scientists and organizations. This subject is very vulnerable right now, and skeptics suspicions are that any review board that can get through the E-Cat reports in just 2 to 3 weeks is not doing its job.

Peer review is more than simply editing a study, and clarifying a few points. It often calls for extra information and “severe critiques, requests for confirmations, side experiments”, as noted by Garry, a poster on E-Cat World.

In general, the opinion is that the mainstream scientific journals don’t deserve to be gifted with the reports on E-Cat, that the reports should be published on the JONP. The bias toward LENR and cold fusion shown to this day by mainstream media outlets should, in some people’s eyes, remove them from the loop in the release of this major break in clean energy.

There is also the accusation that, if the peer review takes only 2 or 3 weeks, it will be because the peers doing the review are incompetent. This is highly contested, as some believe that the better the expertise of the reviewers, the quicker the review will conclude.

In any case, rushing to publish a review would be destructive to the cause of LENR. As one poster put it, “The only thing that has ‘derailed cold fusion for 20 years’ is the total incompetence of science to take P&F seriously and do the bloody research. Journals are there to report Evidence not give opinions about if that Evidence is worthy of reporting, only further research will determine that.”

The 3rd party has informed Rossi that their report will be finished and ready to present by Dec. 16. As to when the peer review will be released, let’s hope that the overly optimistic Rossi is correct at the 2 to 3 week timetable and the public will get it in January.


4 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Rossi states: “The report of the test will be published between the last week of January and the first week of February.”

    There seems to be a gap in what you write, and what the Rossi Blog reads. Please read the comments below, quoted from the Rossi Blog below:
    December 15th, 2012 at 4:25 AM
    Dear Mr. Rossi, can you confirm that the tests have been successful and you are happy with the results.
    Best wishes.

    Andrea Rossi
    December 15th, 2012 at 4:34 AM
    Dear Georgehants:
    The results will be published in end January or first week of February. Maybe you do not believe, but I do not know what they will write.
    Warm Regards,

    Adrian Monk
    December 14th, 2012 at 3:41 PM
    Dear Mr Rossi.
    While we are waiting for the release of the test papers, could you please post some more photos on E-CatWorld? We always like to see photos about old E-Cat, Hot-ECat (those are really something) and E-Cat Plants.
    Thank you.

    Andrea Rossi
    December 14th, 2012 at 5:07 PM
    Dear Adrian Monk:
    Yes, it is possible: next week we will send for publication some interesting photos of the Hot Cat during the tests. The photos have been taken from the thermochamber.
    The report of the test will be published between the last week of January and the first week of February. A report with the main issues and equations will be published on a scientific magazine after peer reviewing ( obviously if the publication will be accepted), a complete publication of the 200 pages report will be published in a white book because, for obvious reasons, no magazine should be able to publish a 200 pages article.
    Warm Regards,

    • Thank you for the update, Tom.

      The 2-3 weeks timeframe in the article is also based on Rossi’s comment from last week (December 13).

      Andrea Rossi
      December 13th, 2012 at 1:56 PM
      Dear Brian:
      The publication does not depend on me. I suppose that to write the report will take at least 2 weeks and that the peer reviewing will take at least other 2-3 weeks.
      Warm Regards,

      The comments you mention (with a more specific deadline for the report) came a couple of days after when the article had already been scheduled for publishing.

      The whole point is that we were in no way trying to keep information away. The article tries to present arguments that peer review is a process that is hard to predict and it usually takes time before a final report (of their observations) is released.

      Andrea Rossi’s clarifications (underlined in your comment) confirm this.

  2. Just more obfuscation and delaying on Rossi’s part.

    Are you positive a proper test to verify Rossi’s claim was even done?

  3. A peer review by someone who is open minded enough to look at the independent third party test report and review, without any bias, would be a good thing. I feel confident that Rossi and his partners would NOT hand over their data to someone like Bob Park! However, if there is a problem with the data, we can expect the peer review to document that problem. I look forward to reading that report. jdh

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