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sexta-feira, setembro 17, 2010

Peer review highly sensitive to poor refereeing, claim researchers

Sep 9, 2010

Just a small number of bad referees can significantly undermine the ability of the peer-review system to select the best scientific papers. That is according to a pair of complex systems researchers in Austria who have modelled an academic publishing system and showed that human foibles can have a dramatic effect on the quality of published science.

Scholarly peer review is the commonly accepted procedure for assessing the quality of research before it is published in academic journals. It relies on a community of experts within a narrow field of expertise to have both the knowledge and the time to provide comprehensive reviews of academic manuscripts.

While the concept of peer review is widely considered the most appropriate system for regulating scientific publications, it is not without its critics. Some feel that the system's reliance on impartiality and the lack of remuneration for referees mean that in practice the process is not as open as it should be. This may be particularly apparent when referees are asked to review more controversial ideas that could damage their own standing within the community if they give their approval.
Questioning referee competence

Stefan Thurner and Rudolf Hanel at the Medical University of Vienna set out to make an assessment of how the peer-review system might respond to incompetent refereeing. "I wanted to know what would be the effects on peer review as a selection mechanism if referees were not all good, but behaved according to different interests," Thurner told

Read more here/Leia mais aqui: Physicsworld