Peer Review in the Google Age. Is technology changing the way science is done and evaluated? Peggy Dominy & Jay Bhatt. When did peer review start?.
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Is technology changing the way science is done and evaluated?
Peggy Dominy & Jay Bhatt
Some would say that “Peer Review” goes back as far as the 17th century, when it was known as “The Inquisition of the Holy Roman and Catholic Church”. Scholars’ works were examined for any hints of “heresy”.
Peer review (known as refereeing in some academic fields) is used in:
Each of these involve slightly different practices, but ultimately colleagues are evaluating each other.
Once a paper has been submitted for consideration of publication, the editor will select 1-2 or 3 scholars from a pool of volunteers to read and evaluate the paper.
Typically it is a double blind process: the reviewers do not know who the author is and the author does not know who the reviewers are. That way only the merits of the paper are evaluated.
The reviewers (within a reasonable time period) respond with their comments which are then forwarded to the author for response to or compliance with reviewer’s suggestions. In the days before the “Internet”, this added weeks (months?) to the publishing process.
Today, moving text back and forth electronically has dramatically accelerated the process, though the imposition on an overburden volunteer researcher has not changed much.
Using Google Scholar search engine, a search using “peer review” and limiting to subject areas (as defined by Google folks):
7,220 Biology, Life Sciences, and Environmental Science
12,000 Business, Administration, Finance, and Economics
12,500 Chemistry and Materials Science
157,000 Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics
15,300 Medicine, Pharmacology, and Veterinary Science
35,900 Physics, Astronomy, and Planetary Science
35,100 Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities
by Alison McCookThe Scientist, vol 20 (2), Feb 2006, pg 26. http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/2/1/26/1/
Submissions are up, reviewers are overtaxed, and authors are lodging complaint after complaint about the process at top-tier journals. What's wrong with peer review?
by Emma MarrisNature, vol. 439, 9 February 2006, page 642 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v439/n7077/full/439642b.html
Cloak of anonymity shed by new publication. Editors of a journal launched this week are out to revolutionize peer review. By publishing signed reviews alongside papers, they hope to make the process more transparent and improve the quality of the articles.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Online Manuscript Peer Review and Tracking Systems and Physics of Plasmas Online Manuscript Submission and Peer Review
Containing abstracts and articles from the Fourth, Third, and Second Peer Review Congresses.
June 5, 2002 Issue
July 15, 1998 Issue
July 13, 1994 Issue
There have been 5 since 1991