Last year, in October, an exceptionally weak paper was published in Nature. The publication of such a piece in a top journal was a clear violation of peer-review standards. Despite the title and publication in a reputable journal, this paper did not provide any evidence.

My attempts

I guess, I was the first to submit a Brief Communication Arising to Nature just a week after the initial publication. My comment was rejected two weeks later, and I published it in Publons system. I see that up until now there has been no clear statement in the peer-reviewed academic literature of the flawed nature of Dong et al paper.

The question

What is the best way to publish a critical comment on a paper published in top journal, if that journal rejected the comment?

I believe, it is very important to publish the critical comment in a peer-reviewed journal. However, usually journals are only willing to consider critical comments on the papers published in their pages.

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    Was there any reason given for the rejection of your response? – user70612 Apr 13 '17 at 15:33
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    It would be nice if in this day and age all journals would provide an online venue for discussion of their own articles. I think USENIX started doing this for their conferences a while back. But in this case, I agree with @Saturnus, looks like OP took the path available and should leave it there. – Fred Douglis Apr 13 '17 at 17:02
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    Yes, I am happy with Publons - it's a nice platform. But the thing is, it seems, in academia only peer-reviewed pieces are valued. – ikashnitsky Apr 13 '17 at 17:06
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    Valued for what? Do you want to publish this because you think it is important for people to know, or because you need publications on your CV? – Tobias Kildetoft Apr 13 '17 at 17:13
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    @Tobias do you often see academic papers citing not peer-reviewed texts? In this context, I want my comment to be viewed as a part of academic literature. This way it will be known to the relevant audience – ikashnitsky Apr 13 '17 at 17:17

Do you know what is the best way to publish a critical comment on a paper published in top journal if that journal rejected the comment?

In another top journal. But your comment "have take a form of an independent paper" as Alexey wrote.

Check those two examples from Computer Science field. First (1) from ICSE, Software Engineering community top venue, where Monperrus offers a critical review on others' paper. Second (2), Arapakis et al. challenge the results reported in Bandari et al.

In my opinion, you should go for a peer-reviewed paper, which is a very noble form of scientific debate.

  • place to start could be PubPeer. It's not exactly what you want but, quoting Wikipedia:

(t)he site is one of many allowing academics to engage in post-publication peer review, and has highlighted shortcomings in several high-profile papers, in some cases leading to retractions and to accusations of scientific fraud, as noted by Retraction Watch.

  • Done long ago. That's not the point of my question – ikashnitsky Apr 14 '17 at 7:02
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    @ikashnitsky, why do you insist on publishing your critical comment in a peer-reviewed outlet? PubPeer is still a good place for such flagging purposes. – anpami Mar 30 at 18:47

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