What passes for peer review at Scientific Reports, Part I

I recently received two reviewer responses to a recent paper by Vikram Jaswal that purports to find support for a form of Facilitated Communication known as Spelling to Communicate:

Reviewer 1 takes this paragraph of mine:

Jaswal et al, moreover, fail to explain why the subjects were able to deliver the often lengthy responses to the open-ended questions reported in this study when pointing to letters on a letterboard via hunt-and-peck-style typing, but not when articulating words through speech (a much less time-consuming process). The authors state that “all but one participant was reported to be able to speak using short phrases or sentences” but “none could respond verbally to open-ended questions of the type they were asked in this study.” There is, however, no officially recognized language disorder that combines extant oral skills with pragmatic skills that only emerge during hunt and peck typing. 

And interprets it this way:

Beals [sic] claim in the 8th paragraph seems to imply that there no officially recognized language disorders in which words could be typed and not spoken, which is simply untrue. There is an entire field of augmentative and alternative communication that has emerged because ideas can be more readily expressed through one modality than the another due to a variety of sensory-motor differences (e.g., ALS, Broca’s aphasia).

I’m left with the following question:

Is there an officially recognized language disorder that combines extant PhD-level academic skills with reading comprehension skills that vanish when one is reviewing academic articles one disagrees with?

5 thoughts on “What passes for peer review at Scientific Reports, Part I

  1. I look forward to reading Part II and then I hope to comment in detail. Meanwhile did you know on Twitter @24shaz is trying to fill the vacuum left by your absence on the subject of FC?


  2. Beal said that no explanation was offered by Jaswal in the article being reviewed about the particular ability in questions. The onous would not be on Beals to explain this curious ability blindly accepted by Jaswal. “Reviewer 1” needs to rethink her comment.


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