Is ‘right-of-reply’ right for science?

Christopher D. Chambers*, Robert D. McIntosh, Sergio Della Sala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In this Editorial, we outline the 'right-of-reply' policy at Cortex and explain how it differs from typical expectations at many peer-reviewed journals. Too often, the right-of-reply prompts a generic opinion piece -- a form of academic theatre -- that is focused more on reputation-management than on science. At Cortex, we do not believe that right-of-reply should be a knee-jerk response. We do not routinely offer it, because it does not routinely add value. The received norm may be that the authors of an original study are owed a special status in shaping the narrative around criticisms of their work; but, as scientists, we do not ‘own’ our research questions or findings after we have shared them by publication. Cortex will always consider informed scientific commentaries that advance the debate, subject to editorial judgement and peer review; but there is no routine right-of-reply.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A1
Number of pages1
Early online date31 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


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