Friday, December 09, 2016

Bias against critical psychiatry in peer-reviewed publications

I used Kam Bhui's photo to accompany my previous post. Kam is editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry (BJPsych). In the past, he was chair of the Transcultural Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and, I thought, sympathetic to critical psychiatry.

I congratulated the previous BJPsych editor for publishing a special article a few years ago written from a critical perspective (see previous post). It is not always easy to get such articles published in mainstream journals. One advantage of the internet is that it allows free expression. However, it does mean that it can be difficult to distinguish quackery from mainstream science.

I have always argued for the mainstream presence of critical psychiatry. However, particularly over recent years, I have resorted to blogademia (see post on personal blog) to express my views. I don't think this makes my critical psychiatry blog any less scientific. But, we do need psychiatric journal editors to take a balanced perspective and be willing to publish critical articles. Considering my comments in my previous post, I'm not convinced that Kam is brave enough to do this. True, The Lancet Psychiatry editor published a letter of mine following a previous post. But, critical psychiatry needs to have more presence in mainstream psychiatry journals. Because of the bias against it, this process does need to be facilitated by journal editors. After all, having obtained the power of such influential positions, why not use it?


Eric Setz said...

Just as only a secure being can accept constructive criticism and other points of view only a secure discipline can accept constructive criticism and other points of view.
Psychiatry because of its lack of success is defensive and unwilling to explore the very things it needs. Sad.

cobweb said...

It is shameful that all members of society not just closed groups are unable to access material which in fact they have contributed to in some way.whether through taxes for services; allowing use of their information for publication or research etc.
This week Pulse med mag has reversed open access and allows access only to registered doctors. Does this engender trust? The experience and views of all are necessary in order to develop any discipline. The college of psychiatrists should come clean and engge with mature dialogue with critical psychiatry instead of attempting to pasify with invitations to conferences and letters full of weasel words designed to imply respect for other perspectives. It is easy to give the impression that alternatives are a bit whacky but when evidence is put in front of the college hierarchy it must be wondered just what they are protecting. A shocking book which includes the history of abuses/'mistakes' and the arrogance of those in power in psychiatry is 'Bad Medicine' previously medical blunders..written with detailed research/references by a doctor and journalist Despite the title it is not sensationalist - few lessons have been learned since that publication over a decade ago.