Peer review

Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competences as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are used to maintain quality standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Peer review can be categorized by the type of activity and by the field or profession in which the activity occurs, e.g., medical peer review.

ScientificReview
A reviewer at the American National Institutes of Health evaluates a grant proposal.

Professional

Professional peer review focuses on the performance of professionals, with a view to improving quality, upholding standards, or providing certification. In academia, peer review is used to inform in decisions related to faculty advancement and tenure. Henry Oldenburg (1619–1677) was a British philosopher who is seen as the 'father' of modern scientific peer review.[1][2][3]

WA prototype is a professional peer-review process originally recommended in the Ethics of the Physician written by Ishāq ibn ʻAlī al-Ruhāwī (854–931). He stated that a visiting physician had to make duplicate notes of a patient's condition on every visit. When the patient was cured or had died, the notes of the physician were examined by a local medical council of other physicians, who would decide whether the treatment had met the required standards of medical care.[4]

Professional peer review is common in the field of health care, where it is usually called clinical peer review.[5] Further, since peer review activity is commonly segmented by clinical discipline, there is also physician peer review, nursing peer review, dentistry peer review, etc.[6] Many other professional fields have some level of peer review process: accounting,[7][8] law,[9][10] engineering (e.g., software peer review, technical peer review), aviation, and even forest fire management.[11]

Peer review is used in education to achieve certain learning objectives, particularly as a tool to reach higher order processes in the affective and cognitive domains as defined by Bloom's taxonomy. This may take a variety of forms, including closely mimicking the scholarly peer review processes used in science and medicine.[12][13]

Scholarly

Scholarly peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal, conference proceedings or as a book. The peer review helps the publisher (that is, the editor-in-chief, the editorial board or the program committee) decide whether the work should be accepted, considered acceptable with revisions, or rejected.

Peer review requires a community of experts in a given (and often narrowly defined) field, who are qualified and able to perform reasonably impartial review. Impartial review, especially of work in less narrowly defined or inter-disciplinary fields, may be difficult to accomplish, and the significance (good or bad) of an idea may never be widely appreciated among its contemporaries. Peer review is generally considered necessary to academic quality and is used in most major scholarly journals, but it by no means prevents publication of invalid research. Traditionally, peer reviewers have been anonymous, but there is currently a significant amount of open peer review, where the comments are visible to readers, generally with the identities of the peer reviewers disclosed as well.

Government policy

The European Union has been using peer review in the "Open Method of Co-ordination" of policies in the fields of active labour market policy since 1999.[14] In 2004, a program of peer reviews started in social inclusion.[15] Each program sponsors about eight peer review meetings in each year, in which a "host country" lays a given policy or initiative open to examination by half a dozen other countries and the relevant European-level NGOs. These usually meet over two days and include visits to local sites where the policy can be seen in operation. The meeting is preceded by the compilation of an expert report on which participating "peer countries" submit comments. The results are published on the web.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, through UNECE Environmental Performance Reviews, uses peer review, referred to as "peer learning", to evaluate progress made by its member countries in improving their environmental policies.

The State of California is the only U.S. state to mandate scientific peer review. In 1997, the Governor of California signed into law Senate Bill 1320 (Sher), Chapter 295, statutes of 1997, which mandates that, before any CalEPA Board, Department, or Office adopts a final version of a rule-making, the scientific findings, conclusions, and assumptions on which the proposed rule are based must be submitted for independent external scientific peer review. This requirement is incorporated into the California Health and Safety Code Section 57004.[16]

Medical

Medical peer review may be distinguished in 4 classifications: 1) clinical peer review; 2) peer evaluation of clinical teaching skills for both physicians and nurses;[17][18] 3) scientific peer review of journal articles; 4) a secondary round of peer review for the clinical value of articles concurrently published in medical journals.[19] Additionally, "medical peer review" has been used by the American Medical Association to refer not only to the process of improving quality and safety in health care organizations, but also to the process of rating clinical behavior or compliance with professional society membership standards.[20][21] Thus, the terminology has poor standardization and specificity, particularly as a database search term.

Criticism

To an outsider, the anonymous, pre-publication peer review process is opaque. Certain journals are accused of not carrying out stringent peer review in order to more easily expand their customer base, particularly in journals where authors pay a fee before publication.[22] Richard Smith, MD, former editor of the British Medical Journal, has claimed that peer review is "ineffective, largely a lottery, anti-innovatory, slow, expensive, wasteful of scientific time, inefficient, easily abused, prone to bias, unable to detect fraud and irrelevant; Several studies have shown that peer review is biased against the provincial and those from low- and middle-income countries; Many journals take months and even years to publish and the process wastes researchers' time. As for the cost, the Research Information Network estimated the global cost of peer review at £1.9 billion in 2008."[23]

In addition, Australia's Innovative Research Universities group (a coalition of seven comprehensive universities committed to inclusive excellence in teaching, learning and research in Australia) has found that "peer review disadvantages researchers in their early careers, when they rely on competitive grants to cover their salaries, and when unsuccessful funding applications often mark the end of a research idea".[24]

See also

References

  1. ^ Hatch, Robert A. (February 1998). "The Scientific Revolution: Correspondence Networks". University of Florida. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  2. ^ Oldenburg, Henry (1665). "Epistle Dedicatory". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 1: 0. doi:10.1098/rstl.1665.0001.
  3. ^ Hall, Marie Boas (2002). Henry Oldenburg: shaping the Royal Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-851053-6.
  4. ^ Spier, Ray (2002). "The history of the peer-review process". Trends in Biotechnology. 20 (8): 357–8. doi:10.1016/S0167-7799(02)01985-6. PMID 12127284.
  5. ^ Dans, PE (1993). "Clinical peer review: burnishing a tarnished image". Ann. Intern. Med. 118 (7): 566–8. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-118-7-199304010-00014. PMID 8442628.
  6. ^ Milgrom P, Weinstein P, Ratener P, Read WA, Morrison K; Weinstein; Ratener; Read; Morrison (1978). "Dental Examinations for Quality Control: Peer Review versus Self-Assessment". Am. J. Public Health. 68 (4): 394–401. doi:10.2105/AJPH.68.4.394. PMC 1653950. PMID 645987.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "AICPA Peer Review Manual". American Institute of CPAs. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  8. ^ "2012 Peer Review Program Manual". aicpa.org.
  9. ^ "Peer Review". UK Legal Services Commission. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  10. ^ "Peer Review Ratings". Martindale. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  11. ^ "Peer Review Panels – Purpose and Process" (PDF). USDA Forest Service. February 6, 2006. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  12. ^ Sims Gerald K. (1989). "Student Peer Review in the Classroom: A Teaching and Grading Tool" (PDF). Journal of Agronomic Education. 18: 105–108. The review process was double-blind to provide anonymity for both authors and reviewers, but was otherwise handled in a fashion similar to that used by scientific journals
  13. ^ Liu, Jianguo; Pysarchik, Dawn Thorndike; Taylor, William W. (2002). "Peer Review in the Classroom" (PDF). BioScience. 52 (9): 824–829. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2002)052[0824:PRITC]2.0.CO;2.
  14. ^ "Mutual Learning Programme - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion - European Commission". ec.europa.eu.
  15. ^ "Social Peer to Peer – Online Casino Reviews". www.peer-review-social-inclusion.eu.
  16. ^ "What is Scientific Peer Review?". ceparev.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  17. ^ Medschool.ucsf.edu Archived August 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Ludwick R, Dieckman BC, Herdtner S, Dugan M, Roche M; Dieckman; Herdtner; Dugan; Roche (November–December 1998). "Documenting the scholarship of clinical teaching through peer review". Nurse Educ. 23 (6): 17–20. doi:10.1097/00006223-199811000-00008. PMID 9934106.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ Haynes RB, Cotoi C, Holland J, et al. (2006). "Second-order peer review of the medical literature for clinical practitioners". JAMA. 295 (15): 1801–8. doi:10.1001/jama.295.15.1801. PMID 16622142.
  20. ^ "(page 131)" (PDF). ama-assn.org.
  21. ^ Ama-assn.org Archived March 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Couchman, John R. (November 11, 2013). "Peer Review and Reproducibility. Crisis or Time for Course Correction?". Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry. 62 (1): 9–10. doi:10.1369/0022155413513462. PMC 3873808. PMID 24217925.
  23. ^ "The peer review drugs don't work". Times Higher Education (THE). 2015-05-28. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  24. ^ "Peer review 'works against' early career researchers". Times Higher Education (THE). 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2018-10-23.

External links

Academic journal

An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as permanent and transparent forums for the presentation, scrutiny, and discussion of research. They are usually peer-reviewed or refereed. Content typically takes the form of articles presenting original research, review articles, and book reviews. The purpose of an academic journal, according to Henry Oldenburg (the first editor of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society), is to give researchers a venue to "impart their knowledge to one another, and contribute what they can to the Grand design of improving natural knowledge, and perfecting all Philosophical Arts, and Sciences."The term academic journal applies to scholarly publications in all fields; this article discusses the aspects common to all academic field journals. Scientific journals and journals of the quantitative social sciences vary in form and function from journals of the humanities and qualitative social sciences; their specific aspects are separately discussed.

The first academic journal was Journal des sçavans (January 1665), followed soon after by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (March 1665), and Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences (1666). The first fully peer-reviewed journal was Medical Essays and Observations (1733).

Academic publishing

Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship. Most academic work is published in academic journal article, book or thesis form. The part of academic written output that is not formally published but merely printed up or posted on the Internet is often called "grey literature". Most scientific and scholarly journals, and many academic and scholarly books, though not all, are based on some form of peer review or editorial refereeing to qualify texts for publication. Peer review quality and selectivity standards vary greatly from journal to journal, publisher to publisher, and field to field.

Most established academic disciplines have their own journals and other outlets for publication, although many academic journals are somewhat interdisciplinary, and publish work from several distinct fields or subfields. There is also a tendency for existing journals to divide into specialized sections as the field itself becomes more specialized. Along with the variation in review and publication procedures, the kinds of publications that are accepted as contributions to knowledge or research differ greatly among fields and subfields.

Academic publishing is undergoing major changes, as it makes the transition from the print to the electronic format. Business models are different in the electronic environment. Since the early 1990s, licensing of electronic resources, particularly journals, has been very common. An important trend, particularly with respect to journals in the sciences, is open access via the Internet. In open access publishing, a journal article is made available free for all on the web by the publisher at the time of publication. Both open and closed journals are sometimes funded by the author paying an Article processing charge, thereby shifting some fees from the reader to the researcher or their funder. Many open or closed journals fund their operations without such fees. The Internet has facilitated open access self-archiving, in which authors themselves make a copy of their published articles available free for all on the web. Some important results in mathematics have been published only on arXiv.

African Peer Review Mechanism

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the member states of the African Union (AU) as a self-monitoring mechanism. It was founded in 2003.

The mandate of the APRM is to encourage conformity in regard to political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards, among African countries and the objectives in socio-economic development as well as to ensure monitoring and evaluation of AU Agenda 2063 and SDGs 2030.

Beall's List

Beall's List was a list of predatory open-access publishers that was maintained by University of Colorado librarian Jeffrey Beall on his blog Scholarly Open Access. The list aimed to document open-access publishers who did not perform real peer review, effectively publishing any article as long as the authors pay the open access fee. Originally started as a personal endeavor in 2008, Beall's List became a widely followed piece of work by the mid 2010s. Its influence led some publishers on the list to threaten defamation lawsuits against Beall, as well as lodge official complaints against Beall's work to the University of Colorado. As a result, Beall deactivated his blog and the list in January 2017.

The closure of Beall's List was cited by some as a tragedy, and successors have set out to continue Beall's work.

Clinical peer review

Clinical peer review, also known as medical peer review is the process by which health care professionals, including those in nursing and pharmacy, evaluate each other’s clinical performance. A discipline-specific process may be referenced accordingly (e.g., physician peer review, nursing peer review).

Today, clinical peer review is most commonly done in hospitals, but may also occur in other practice settings including surgical centers and large group practices. The primary purpose of peer review is to improve the quality and safety of care. Secondarily, it serves to reduce the organization’s vicarious malpractice liability and meet regulatory requirements. In the US, these include accreditation, licensure and Medicare participation. Peer review also supports the other processes that healthcare organizations have in place to assure that physicians are competent and practice within the boundaries of professionally accepted norms.

Gatekeeper

A gatekeeper is a person who controls access to something, for example via a city gate. In the late 20th century the term came into metaphorical use, referring to individuals who decide whether a given message will be distributed by a mass medium.

Henry Oldenburg

Henry Oldenburg (also Henry Oldenbourg) FRS (c. 1619 as Heinrich Oldenburg – 5 September 1677) was a German theologian known as a diplomat, a natural philosopher and as the creator of scientific peer review. He was one of the foremost intelligencers of Europe of the seventeenth century, with a network of correspondents to rival those of Fabri de Peiresc, Marin Mersenne and Ismaël Boulliau. At the foundation of the Royal Society he took on the task of foreign correspondence, as the first Secretary.

International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design

The International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID) was an organization that described itself as "a cross-disciplinary professional society that investigates complex systems apart from external programmatic constraints like materialism, naturalism, or reductionism." It was founded and led by figures associated with the intelligent design movement, such as William A. Dembski and Michael Behe.

Lists of academic journals

The following is a partial list of lists of academic journals.

Medical Hypotheses

Medical Hypotheses is a medical journal published by Elsevier. It was originally intended as a forum for unconventional ideas without the traditional filter of scientific peer review, "as long as (the ideas) are coherent and clearly expressed" in order to "foster the diversity and debate upon which the scientific process thrives." Medical Hypotheses was the only Elsevier journal that did not send submitted papers to other scientists for review. Articles were chosen instead by the journal's editor-in-chief based on whether he considered the submitted work interesting and important. The journal's policy placed full responsibility for the integrity, precision and accuracy of publications on the authors, rather than peer reviewers or the editor.The publication of papers on AIDS denialism led to calls to remove it from PubMed, the United States National Library of Medicine online journal database. Following the AIDS papers controversy, Elsevier forced a change in the journal's leadership. In June 2010, Elsevier announced that "Submitted manuscripts will be reviewed by the Editor and external reviewers to ensure their scientific merit".

Open peer review

Open peer review is a process in which names of peer reviewers of papers submitted to academic journals are disclosed to the authors of the papers in question. In some cases, as with the BMJ and BioMed Central, the process also involves posting the entire pre-publication history of the article online, including not only signed reviews of the article, but also its previous versions and author responses to the reviewers.

PLOS One

PLOS One (stylized PLOS ONE, and formerly PLoS ONE) is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS) since 2006. The journal covers primary research from any discipline within science and medicine. The Public Library of Science began in 2000 with an online petition initiative by Nobel Prize winner Harold Varmus, formerly director of the National Institutes of Health and at that time director of Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center; Patrick O. Brown, a biochemist at Stanford University; and Michael Eisen, a computational biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. All submissions go through a pre-publication review by a member of the board of academic editors, who can elect to seek an opinion from an external reviewer. According to the journal, papers are not to be excluded on the basis of lack of perceived importance or adherence to a scientific field. In January 2010, the journal was included in the Journal Citation Reports and received its first impact factor of 4.411. PLOS One papers are published under Creative Commons licenses.

Public health journal

A public health journal is a scientific journal devoted to the field of public health, including epidemiology, biostatistics, and health care (including medicine, nursing and related fields). Public health journals, like most scientific journals, are peer-reviewed. Public health journals are commonly published by health organizations and societies, such as the Bulletin of the World Health Organization or the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (published by the British Medical Association). Many others are published by a handful of large publishing corporations that includes Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer Science+Business Media, and Informa, each of which has many imprints (which are brands named after former independent publishers that were merged or acquired). Many societies partner with such corporations to handle the work of producing their journals.

The increase in public health research in recent decades has seen a rapid increase in the number of articles and journals. As such, many public health journals have emerged with a specialized focus, such as in the area of policy (e.g. Journal of Public Health Policy), a specific region or country of the world (e.g. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, Pan American Journal of Public Health or Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal), a specific intervention/practice area (e.g. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention), or other particular focus (e.g. Human Resources for Health).

Research

Research comprises "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications." It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories. A research project may also be an expansion on past work in the field. Research projects can be used to develop further knowledge on a topic, or in the example of a school research project, they can be used to further a student's research prowess to prepare them for future jobs or reports. To test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects or the project as a whole. The primary purposes of basic research (as opposed to applied research) are documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development (R&D) of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge. Approaches to research depend on epistemologies, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. There are several forms of research: scientific, humanities, artistic, economic, social, business, marketing, practitioner research, life, technological, etc.

Scholarly peer review

Scholarly peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal, conference proceedings or as a book. The peer review helps the publisher (that is, the editor-in-chief, the editorial board or the program committee) decide whether the work should be accepted, considered acceptable with revisions, or rejected.

Peer review requires a community of experts in a given (and often narrowly defined) field, who are qualified and able to perform reasonably impartial review. Impartial review, especially of work in less narrowly defined or inter-disciplinary fields, may be difficult to accomplish, and the significance (good or bad) of an idea may never be widely appreciated among its contemporaries. Peer review is generally considered necessary to academic quality and is used in most major scholarly journals, but it by no means prevents publication of invalid research. Traditionally, peer reviewers have been anonymous, but there is currently a significant amount of open peer review, where the comments are visible to readers, generally with the identities of the peer reviewers disclosed as well.

Scholarpedia

Scholarpedia is an English-language online wiki-based encyclopedia with features commonly associated with open-access online academic journals, which aims to have quality content.

Scholarpedia articles are written by invited expert authors and are subject to peer review. Scholarpedia lists the real names and affiliations of all authors, curators and editors involved in an article: however, the peer review process (which can suggest changes or additions, and has to be satisfied before an article can appear) is anonymous. Scholarpedia articles are stored in an online repository, and can be cited as conventional journal articles (Scholarpedia has the ISSN number ISSN 1941-6016). Scholarpedia's citation system includes support for revision numbers.

The project was created in February 2006 by Eugene M. Izhikevich, while he was a researcher at the Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, California. Izhikevich is also the encyclopedia's editor-in-chief.

Scientific Reports

Scientific Reports is an online open access, scientific mega journal published by Nature Research, covering all areas of the natural sciences. The journal aims to assess solely the scientific validity of a submitted paper, rather than its perceived importance, significance or impact.On 23 August 2016, a blog post on the Scholarly Kitchen mentioned that the journal was likely to become the largest one in the world, overtaking PLOS ONE. This indeed occurred in September 2016 and was later confirmed in the first quarter of 2017.

Scientific literature

For a broader class of literature, see Academic literature.

Scientific literature comprises scholarly publications that report original empirical and theoretical work in the natural and social sciences, and within an academic field, often abbreviated as the literature. Academic publishing is the process of contributing the results of one's research into the literature, which often requires a peer-review process. Original scientific research published for the first time in scientific journals is called the primary literature. Patents and technical reports, for minor research results and engineering and design work (including computer software), can also be considered primary literature. Secondary sources include review articles (which summarize the findings of published studies to highlight advances and new lines of research) and books (for large projects or broad arguments, including compilations of articles). Tertiary sources might include encyclopedias and similar works intended for broad public consumption.

Sternberg peer review controversy

The Sternberg peer review controversy concerns the conflict arising from the publication of an article supporting the pseudo-scientific concept of intelligent design in a scientific journal, and the subsequent questions of whether proper editorial procedures had been followed and whether it was properly peer reviewed.

One of the primary criticisms of the intelligent design movement is that there are no research papers supporting their positions in peer reviewed scientific journals. On 4 August 2004, an article by Stephen C. Meyer (Director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture) titled "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories", appeared in the peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Meyer's article was a literature review article, and contained no new primary scholarship itself on the topic of intelligent design. The following month, the publisher of the journal, the Council of the Biological Society of Washington, released a statement repudiating the article and stating that their former editor Richard M. Sternberg had, in an unusual manner, handled the entire review process without consultation or review from an associate editor. The position of editor was unpaid and voluntary, and Sternberg had put in his resignation from it six months earlier. Sternberg disputes the Council's statement and asserts that the paper was appropriately peer reviewed by three biologists who "concluded that [the paper] warranted publication".The same statement from the Council vowed that proper review procedures would be followed in the future and endorsed a resolution published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which states that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting intelligent design. On September 18, the Discovery Institute issued a statement praising the publication of Meyer's paper in a peer-reviewed journal and chastising the National Center for Science Education for stating that the paper should not have been published. The Biological Society of Washington's president, Roy McDiarmid called Sternberg's decision to publish Meyer's article "a really bad judgment call on the editor's part" and said it was doubtful whether the three scientists who peer reviewed the article and recommended it for publication were evolutionary biologists.

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