[ RadSafe ] uranium smoke is a teratogen

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Fri May 23 22:52:18 CDT 2008

At 12:54 AM 5/23/08 -0500, Dan W McCarn wrote:


>One last thing: not all scientific papers in this day and age are
>peer-reviewed.  In fact, I'd say that only a small fraction are effectively
>reviewed especially in the reports that you mentioned.  When I worked on the
>Yucca Mountain Site Characterization report, an enormous effort was taken to
>validate every citation in preparation for a formal peer review. It is not
>sufficient to just "pile on" references, they must be cogent and meaningful
>and very specific. There was a time when I had more references checked-out
>of the Yucca Mountain library than all other workers put together.  I even
>had my own reading room for organizing the peer review.


         This is a very good point, and one I have pondered at times when 
reading papers in Health Physics and other refereed journals.  Do the 
authors of these papers take the time to read all the literature they 
cite?  Can they take the time?  Do they even read the paragraph wherein the 
sentence appears that they have quoted?  We often see papers with 30 or 40 
or 50 (or even more) references.  No one can read all that stuff before 
writing a paper --- can he?  And to imagine the reviewers reading all that 
material to ascertain that it has been used properly?  Not to detract from 
the valiant efforts of any reviewer, I do not see how it would be possible 
for anyone to read all that stuff.  I don't think it would be possible to 
check all the references and ensure that they are correct --- meaning 
correct volume, date, and page numbers.

         I emphatically am not denigrating anyone's reviews.  I am merely 
noting the enormous amount of work it would be to thoroughly review a paper.

Steven Dapra

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