The importance of peer review

The Importance and Limitations of Peer-Review

There is a particular concern about the impact on young investigators, who are particularly vulnerable. And some reasons other people hate it: Statistical problems in the reporting of clinical trials.

Steven Novella on September 3, Shares Peer-review is a critical part of the functioning of the scientific community, of quality control, and the self corrective nature of science. The process generally works, and is certainly better than having no quality control filter, but it is also no guarantee of correctness, or even the avoidance of mistakes.

The more positive the rating feedbackthe more likely the submission will be accepted. And some reasons other people hate it: Peer-reviewers also have biases. Otherwise it drives authors crazy. While preprint archives, listservs, and threaded discussions are likely to grow in importance for communication among scholars working in a field, journals clearly appear to be retaining a significant role in this type of communication.

While preprint archives, listservs, and threaded discussions are likely to grow in importance for communication among scholars working in a field, journals clearly appear to be retaining a significant role in this type of communication.

For example, preprint archives such as arXiv. While it is likely to be a slow process, we appear to be entering an era when the peer review will evolve to take greater advantage of the flexibility offered by the Internet.

The Importance of Peer Review: An Introduction

This goes right back to the main reason for doing peer review in the first place: In any case, the peer review process should aim to ensure an impartial review of various types of submissions with the goal of supporting academic quality of scholarship.

Accepted articles are published in the main journal. Traditionally the identities of the peer reviewers are kept confidential, and in many cases manuscripts are masked to remove any identifying information concerning the authors and their institutions. At MEO, the review editor provides a feedback letter with the publication decision, a summary of feedback and, if appropriate, a coherent set of issues that must be addressed before publication.

Writing is communication Some people are just uncomfortable showing others their writing. Despite its long history and firm establishment in scholarly communities, peer review has come under increasing scrutiny by scholars Debate and even in the lay press Chang For this reasons editors often allow authors to request or recommend reviewers, or to request that certain people not be asked to be reviewers.

His research has been mainly in the areas of performance assessment, specialty choice, and distance learning. With other more efficient means of communication available today, one would think journals would have a fairly limited role in communicating research results among scholars.

It remains to be seen how successful these public review systems will be. The value of peer review is not so much as a means of filtering poor manuscripts though it is helpful to have the backing of several reviewers when faced with an irate author ; instead, peer review is valuable as a means of enhancing the quality of what is published.

The Importance of Peer Review

OK, but what if the feedback really is wrong. To some extent, this is done as journals filter what is published and hence disseminated. Perhaps the biggest weakness of peer-review, however, is when an entire discipline of peers is lacking in some fundamental way. While most reviews provide valuable feedback, there is a great deal of variability across reviewers in the issues addressed, and the feedback is occasionally contradictory and once in a while just plain wrong.

It is typical for authors to submit a paper to a prestigious journal first, and then if they get rejected to work their way down the food chain until they find a journal that will accept it. As a result, these sources are considered to be less credible and scholarly, and are therefore not as suitable for research assignments.

The peer review questions provide objective criteria. Building a collective knowledge base — Probably the most important role journals play is forming our archive of knowledge.

Importance of Peer Review Articles

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article. Sometimes an editor will specifically use a reviewer that the authors request not be used, thinking they may be trying to avoid legitimate criticism.

Scholarly publication is the means by which new work is communicated and peer review is an important part of this process. Peer review is an important part of the quality control mechanism that is used to determine what is published, and what is not.

The Importance of Peer Review Peer review is the process that scholarly journals use to check articles for accuracy. The article is submitted to a group of experts to make sure the article is factual, not plagiarized, has the most current data, and so forth. The importance of peer review is that it provides a psychological pillow for those that doubt the validity of the study.

The essential role of peer review

The problem with this is that the pillow is nice and comfy. It does not mean that it was peer reviewed correctly, or that the data is actually valid, not manipulated, not being force fed to you for profit, etc.


In my opinion, anonymous peer review is the worst way of evaluating the importance, novelty and veracity of manuscripts, apart from every other method that has been tried.

The role of reviewers, however, is not to dictate but to advise, and with relatively rare exceptions, I think they do a good job.

Sep 15,  · Peer review also has an elitist aspect that is easily attacked. Furthermore, some people, being aware of alternatives in the physical sciences, for instance, think that peer review may indeed no longer be essential to ensure that there is adequate quality control on the output of scientists.

Peer review is of little value and probably a hindrance in facilitating communication among scholars in a field and is not relevant for the role of building scientific communities.

The value of peer review is based on the assumption that it provides a valid measure of the quality of a manuscript and its adherence to the norms of the field.

The importance of peer review
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The Role of Peer Review for Scholarly Journals in the Information Age