The traditional print-form peer review and discussion (that some favor) can be painfully slow and wearisome. As someone who thinks the new sort of 'open science' internet debate is therefore mostly to the good, and certainly the wave of the future, I find this 'fast feedback' over the Web a positive and irreversible development, even though it can strain nerves/feelings.
What I found especially interesting in the "Nature" piece was the following admission that math and physics have already long dealt with (if not even relished) rapid (and early) feedback, and it is primarily the biological sciences where most resistance lies:
"In some fields, notably mathematics and physics, this sort of public discourse on a paper has long been the norm, both before and after publication. Most researchers in those fields have been depositing their draft papers in the preprint server arXiv.org for two decades. And when blogging became popular around the turn of the millennium, they were quick to start debating their research in that form.In general, biologists ('notorious' indeed! ;-)) often appear both more critical of one another, and more sensitive to criticism, than physicists and math-types tend to be, and thus are naturally more fearful of the kind of wrangling free-for-all the open Web offers. Anyway, food for thought....
"Scientists in other fields seem less willing to get involved in pre-publication discussion. Biologists, in particular, are notoriously reluctant to publicly discuss their own work or comment on the work of others for fear of being scooped by competitors or of offending future reviewers of their own work. Adding to the disincentive is the knowledge that tenure committees and funding agencies do not explicitly reward online activity."