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Should journals let libel concerns influence authors’ reference lists?

Posted 4 months.

1 Comment

  • (Professor Emeritus) Ferrel Christensen - 4 months ago

    Unlike your average reader, I have had not just years of scientific study but personal experience of being viciously and falsely libeled. I have full knowledge of the power that quotations and citations (today often just hyperlinks) made by others than the original libeler have to make the harm done by the defamation vastly greater than it would otherwise have been. And to be frank, I suggest that your otherwise commendable publication was, in taking this survey, making a kneejerk gesture for "free speech" to an audience it knows perfectly well would not have the knowledge-background to make a reasoned judgment on the subject. Morally and rationally, speech cannot be totally free--else there would be no laws against successful and attempted extortion, fraud, and many other evils--including defamation.

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