Simine Flips Out

Editors of scientific journals have a lot of power. For one thing, journals are the main way that scientific work is distributed, so editors’ decisions control the flow of information among scientists and to the public. For another, publications are probably the single most consequential product in evaluating scientists for jobs and career advancement. Simine just wrapped up a term as an editor of a journal, and in this episode she reflects on how much power she had, why it was probably too much, and what she could do next about that. Her big idea is to “flip” herself – dedicate her time and energy to posting open reviews of preprints. Preprints are a way for scientists to distribute their work outside of the control of gatekeepers, and we talk about the promises and the perils of open reviewing and how Simine plans to do it in a principled and ethical way. Plus: We answer a letter about talking to colleagues outside the “open science bubble.”


The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 62. It was recorded on June 20, 2019.