Romagnoli says he decided to review the revised paper because the original was withdrawn by Medical Hypotheses not for “flawed or falsified data” but for “highly controversial opinions” — which the IJAE's readers can make up their own minds about.
He has a point.
So a journal is a newspaper, now. Great.
Um, no. Not what I said. At all. Also not what the editor said.
Granted. It's also probably what the editor of Nature said when he published the Womenspace Futures story.
The Womanspace story had no place in any scientific journal. It was fiction, not a scientific paper, and it was blatantly sexist fiction.
I don't know what his motivation for publishing the study was, but what Romagnoli seems to be saying there is that regardless of the validity of the conclusion, the paper should not be withheld from publication based on having an unsavory premise unless the data or the method is bad. This is science... the idea is to present the available information and let the scientific community determine whether the conclusions drawn by the researcher are valid.
The fact that the researcher's agenda is antisocial should not in itself be a barrier to publication. Now, we all know that personalities and bias do weigh heavily in the peer journal world, but they shouldn't. They only criteria a paper should be judged by is whether the data is good or bad and whether it's presented clearly. Even if it's an article which claims that having gay parents directly causes children to grow up alcoholic chain-smoking white nationalists, if it presents its data clearly it should not be withheld from publication simply for being unsavory.
Not that every paper deserves publication, and journals should pick and choose the best articles for publication (if they are fortunate enough to have enough submissions to pick and choose from) but I see Romagnoli's point; if the data is good, it is his right to present it in his journal, and let the scientific community rebut the study, which I'm sure they will do in droves. Further, it will help to dispel the conspiracy nutjobs' claims that information is being suppressed.
Many people on the web seem to think that this paper shouldn't be published anywhere for any reason because it's antisocial. I personally think that's walking a little too close to a slippery slope for my comfort.