Peer review is in crisis, but should be fixed, not abolished

Posted in Research on November 15th, 2016 by steve

USA“This year three Nobel Prize-winning biologists broke with tradition and published their research directly on the internet as so-called preprints. Their motivation? Saving time …” (more)

[Tricia Serio, The Conversation, 15 November]

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Top peer reviewers are motivated by their dedication to science

Posted in Research on September 24th, 2016 by steve

USA“When Jonas Ranstam wakes up in the morning, one of the first things he does is review other people’s scientific papers. By his count, the independent medical statistician spends 24 hours a week peer reviewing – and in sum, over the past year, he has reviewed 661 papers …” (more)

[Shannon Palus, Slate, 23 September]


Robot-written reviews fool academics

Posted in Research on September 23rd, 2016 by steve

International“Soulless computer algorithms are already churning out weather bulletins, sports reports, rap lyrics and even passable Chinese poetry. But it seems machines have now taken another step towards replacing human enterprise by generating their own reviews of serious academic journal papers that are able to impress even experienced academics …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 20 September]


Would peer review work better if reviewers talked to each other?

Posted in Research on September 21st, 2016 by steve

UK“Would distributing all reviewers’ reports for a specific paper amongst every referee before deciding whether to accept or reject a manuscript make peer review fairer and quicker? This idea — called ‘cross-referee commenting’ — is being implemented by the journal Development, as part of its attempt to improve the peer-review process …” (more)

[Retraction Watch, 21 September]

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Peer Review in the Humanities and Social Sciences: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It?

Posted in Research on September 21st, 2016 by steve

USA“While much of the contemporary debate around peer review focuses on both journal articles and STEM fields, here we are going to focus on humanities and social science (HSS) fields where both longer articles and book-length projects are more common. Does HSS peer review have the same functions, goals, and challenges as STEM peer review? …” (more)

[Alison Mudditt, The Scholarly Kitchen, 21 September]

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Why not make academic journal acceptance portable?

Posted in Research on May 16th, 2016 by steve

USA“In a changing market, authors increasingly find themselves negotiating with publishers to see their work to completion, even after they successfully navigate academic peer review, writes, Michael S Evans. The solution is to make journal acceptance portable …” (more)

[Inside Higher Ed, 16 May]

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Should academics be paid for peer review?

Posted in Research on March 18th, 2016 by steve

UK“As the number of papers needing review increases, journals are thinking of replacing a voluntary system with cash rewards. A big part of being an academic is working for free. Not only do many researchers work beyond their contracted hours, as other employees do, but they also agree to review the work of their peers, unpaid …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 16 March]

Tags: crowdsources speedy peer review solution

Posted in Research on November 6th, 2015 by steve

UK“An academic social network is aiming to transform the peer review process using crowdsourcing. has launched a service called PaperRank, which gives each article on the site a score based on how many recommendations it has received from other researchers …” (more)

[Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education, 5 November]

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Open peer review ‘better quality’ than traditional process

Posted in Research on October 15th, 2015 by steve

UK“Open peer review produces better scrutiny of research than traditional methods, according to a new study. Reviews were found to be of slightly higher quality – around 5% better – when authors could see who had reviewed their papers and these assessments were made available with the published article …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 15 October]


UCC president calls for peer review for Government

Posted in Governance and administration on August 28th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“State agencies and Government departments should be subjected to international peer review on a regular basis to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness, according to the president of University College Cork (UCC), Dr Michael Murphy …” (more)

[Barry Roche, Irish Times, 28 August]

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The peer review drugs don’t work

Posted in Research on May 29th, 2015 by steve

UK“It is paradoxical and ironic that peer review, a process at the heart of science, is based on faith not evidence. There is evidence on peer review, but few scientists and scientific editors seem to know of it – and what it shows is that the process has little if any benefit and lots of flaws …” (more)

[Richard Smith, Times Higher Education, 28 May]

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Slay peer review ‘sacred cow’, says former BMJ chief

Posted in Research on April 21st, 2015 by steve

UK“Peer review is a sacred cow that is ready to be slain, a former editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal has said. Richard Smith, who edited the BMJ between 1991 and 2004, told the Royal Society’s Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication conference on 20 April that there was no evidence that pre-publication peer review improved papers or detected errors or fraud …” (more)

[Paul Jump, Times Higher Education, 21 April]

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How International Is Peer Review?

Posted in Research on January 21st, 2015 by steve

USA“Impartiality in peer review has been a focus of recent debate as a number of studies have shown that peer review is not as impartial as it is assumed to be (eg Lamont, 2009). Studies have shown that peer-review in academia is biased against many characteristics of the author …” (more)

[Liudvika Leiyste, insidehighered, 20 January]


Open access is tiring out peer reviewers

Posted in Research on November 26th, 2014 by steve

International“As numbers of published articles rise, the scholarly review system must adapt to avoid unmanageable burdens and slipping standards, says Martijn Arns …” (more)

[Nature News & Comment, 25 November]

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Peer review is fraught with problems, and we need a fix

Posted in Research on November 18th, 2014 by steve

UK“Dirty Harry once said, ‘Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one’. Now that the internet has made it easier than ever to share an unsolicited opinion, traditional methods of academic review are beginning to show their age …” (more)

[Andy Tattersall, The Conversation, 18 November]

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Research quality assessment tools: Lessons from Italy

Posted in Research on July 29th, 2014 by steve

Italy“Assessing the quality of academic research is important – particularly in countries where universities receive most of their funding from the government. This column presents evidence from an Italian research assessment exercise …” (more)

[Graziella Bertocchi and others, vox, 28 July]

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Retractions are coming thick and fast: it’s time for journal publishers to act

Posted in Research on July 14th, 2014 by steve

“Journal publishers must acknowledge the limitations of traditional peer review and fully embrace post-publication peer review …” (more)

[Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky, Guardian, 14 July]

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Ending with Open Access, Beginning with Open Access

Posted in Research on July 8th, 2014 by steve

“There is something about the term ‘post-publication peer review’ that doesn’t quite fit. On one hand, post-publication peer review seems inevitable …” (more)

[Joseph Esposito, The Scholarly Kitchen, 8 July]

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A modest proposal to solve the problem of peer review: Treat evaluation as an in-house publishing function

Posted in Research on June 16th, 2014 by steve

“Peer review is under constant scrutiny due to its failure to adapt to a more effective model in the digital age. Steve Fuller argues that academic evaluation proceeds much too slowly for the quite simple reason that academics are valued mainly for being productive and not evaluative …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 16 June]

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Frustrated Scholar Creates New Way to Fund and Publish Academic Work

Posted in Research on June 6th, 2014 by steve

“In 2011, Tim Peterson was your archetypal frustrated academic. He’d just landed a paper in the journal Cell but had grown disillusioned with the publishing process after nine months of back-and-forth among his team, the reviewers, and the editors …” (more)

[Avi Wolfman-Arent, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 June]

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