A popular Twitter account that highlighted ridiculous academic papers from the social sciences and humanities — some taxpayer-funded — was abruptly deleted recently apparently because critics threatened to expose the name of the anonymous tweeter, who feared career-ending retaliation from campus colleagues.
The threats against @Real_PeerReview are telling about the state of soft academia. The tweeter’s primary activity was simply publishing links to abstracts and highlighting one or two sentences from their summaries. If the scholars believed their work had value, they would presumably appreciate wide distribution.
The account gained 10,000 followers in only four months by highlighting “research” papers based on low levels of academic rigor. Some were “autoethnographic,” meaning the author simply recounted how they felt when experiencing something. Other papers had tiny sample sizes with authors speaking only to a few friends — hardly a representative sample.
Low academic standards seemed to be especially accepted in the fields of “critical race theory” and feminism, making it prime fodder for tweeting, while prompting “social justice warrior” types to target the tweeter...
Real Peer review is up and you can follow tweets from that account here: @