Emil O. W. Kirkegaard
| The colorful pseudoscience|
|Hating thy neighbour|
|Divide and conquer|
Emil Ole William Kirkegaard is a supporter of racialist pseudoscience. He runs Open Psychology and its pseudojournals: Open Behavioral Genetics, Open Differential Psychology, and Open Quantitative Sociology & Political Science. Most papers published in these journals are authored by Kirkegaard himself.
In a blog post titled Why the race and intelligence question is still not resolved, Kirkegaard alleges a conspiracy among sociologists:
It could probably have been resolved decades ago, and definitely within the last 10 years with genomic data, yet it is still not. Why? Essentially, it’s because of bias in academia. It begins early: data access, then there’s authors’ own publication bias, then finally editorial and reviewing bias (all caused by lack of political/belief diversity in academia). Here’s a recent example of the first, data access bias. How can there be this bias? Because academia has been hoarding the data that the public has funded them to gather, refusing to share it with anyone openly. Well, actually academics just threw away most of the data (‘we accidentally all the data’), but the data they didn’t just let perish, most of is safe-guarded for privacy reasons so others can’t use it to publish without the guy who collected it (‘steal his ideas’), and especially so nefarious characters (aka. political opponents) cannot get it.
We were applying to a large dataset that would probably be able to settle the race and intelligence, or at least, provide very strong evidence for or against genetics as cause. But instead we got:I asked Prof. X about this project, and even though he does recognise its relevance, I am afraid that he declined to provide the data. The reason is that country C is facing a very delicate political situation at the moment, and race/ethnicity/ancestry is one of the topics at the core of debates and etc. Everyone in the country seems to be a little bit cautious when it comes to looking at ethnicity, especially regarding this such as intelligence or violence. I am truly sorry that we will not be able to help at this opportunity, but I do wish the best of luck with your research.And onwards we go towards applying for the next dataset.
Despite Kirkegaard's insistence otherwise, OpenPsych and its journals are pseudojournals: they do not use peer review and are filled with Kirkegaard's publications.
Lack of peer review
The OpenPsych about page describes the journal as the following:
- Open access - everybody can read the published material.
- Authors retain rights - whatever copyrights authors had before, they keep; granting only the rights for OpenPsych to publish the papers online as well as to search indexers to index the publications.
- No author fees - running journal websites is cheap and fees are unnecessary.
- Open forum peer review - traditional peer review is anachronistic and does not take advance of modern technology (graphical explanation below).
- Mandatory data sharing - so that others can verify and extend your results as well as use the data for other purposes you didn't think of.
Open access, author rights, free science, and mandatory data sharing are all good goals. However, that doesn't mean shit if the papers are shit. OpenPsych — and Kirkegaard's other journals — do not use traditional peer-review used by virtually all professional journals (open and otherwise).
Formal peer-review involves independent referees providing detailed critiques of article submissions, usually taking between two and four weeks to fully scrutinize; sometimes longer. In contrast referees for Open Psychology journals review submissions within days and referees are not independent; instead, they communicate with each other on the same message board (Open Psych). More importantly, referees are not impartial: they are strongly biased towards hereditarianism and racialism. (To be fair, bias like this is a [smaller] problem in mainstream journals.)
The OpenPsych journals show typical signs of a pseudojournal: high percentage of content written by the journal creator. As of 23 August 2017:
- Kirkegaard wrote for 17 out of the 30 papers in Open Differential Psychology
- Kirkegaard wrote for 1 out of the 7 papers in Open Behavioral Genetics
- Kirkegaard wrote for 8 out of the 11 papers in Open Quantitative Sociology & Political Science
Kirkegaard was an author for 26 of 48 total papers, or 54.17%.
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