Responses to Inquiry into Peer Review

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In the U.K., the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the operation and effectiveness of peer review. The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) has submitted its response. This is the summary:

  1. Peer review is a process by which manuscripts submitted for formal publication undergo critical evaluation by experts in the field.
  2. Peer review is highly valued by scientific communities. It provides a vital filtering process to streamline the research and discovery process.
  3. Peer review varies considerably between scientific disciplines; it is not a one-size-fits-all process. It has evolved to meet the needs of individual scientific communities.
  4. A variety of tools are now available to support and enhance peer review and the use and development of these should be encouraged.

The response ends with this recommendation:

Though it has its critics, at the current time, no credible replacement has been identified. Peer review is evolving and will continue to do so. Rather than trying to disrupt this established process ALPSP believes it is more useful to supplement and support it, utilizing tools such as CrossCheck and CrossMark17, graphics analysis, usage statistics, appropriate citation statistics or other article level metrics, and encouraging continued scientific debate once the literature is published.

Daniel Mietchen has also submitted his response to the inquiry. These are his recommendations:

  1. Test whether particular variants of peer review are fit for their intended purposes...
  2. Peer reviews should be public by default...
  3. Provide room to experiment with new variants of peer review...
  4. Pre-publication peer review should only concern technical soundness, not impact guesstimation...
  5. Pre-funding peer review should focus on the achievements of the applicants rather than on research proposals...
  6. Diversify evaluation criteria of scholarly impact...

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