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Peer-review for the peer-review system


Rühli, Frank J; Finnegan, M; Hershkovitz, I; Henneberg, M (2009). Peer-review for the peer-review system. Human Ontogenetics, 3(1):3-6.

Abstract

The process of peer-review of papers submitted for publication and of grant proposals is widely accepted in modern science as a crucial guarantee of high-quality work. Foremost in restricted research areas, anonymous reviewers and editors may use their power to slow down or even reject competitive yet worthwhile work that does not fit or is questioning their own dogmas. This potential peers conflict of interest of may be particularly expressed in areas where empirical proofs of findings are de facto impossible, e.g. in physical anthropology. An example, two-way anonymous (double-blind) peer-review process improves the overall quality of evaluation but it is hard to implement in a highly specialized research field. Yet, the introduction of a completely open peer-review policy would most likely be supported by the overwhelming majority of reviewers. Furthermore, it may increase the overall quality of peer-review with reviewers to have their name acknowledged. Science should be about the possibility of advertising fresh concepts on evidence-based results in a non-biased, egalitarian, and open way with transparency the prime goal of editing such scientific discourse. By raising our foremost concerns and, hopefully, by the implementation of the proposed policy, we believe that these stated goals can be achieved, thus enhancing the true purpose of peer review particularly in the complex situation of scientific niches.

The process of peer-review of papers submitted for publication and of grant proposals is widely accepted in modern science as a crucial guarantee of high-quality work. Foremost in restricted research areas, anonymous reviewers and editors may use their power to slow down or even reject competitive yet worthwhile work that does not fit or is questioning their own dogmas. This potential peers conflict of interest of may be particularly expressed in areas where empirical proofs of findings are de facto impossible, e.g. in physical anthropology. An example, two-way anonymous (double-blind) peer-review process improves the overall quality of evaluation but it is hard to implement in a highly specialized research field. Yet, the introduction of a completely open peer-review policy would most likely be supported by the overwhelming majority of reviewers. Furthermore, it may increase the overall quality of peer-review with reviewers to have their name acknowledged. Science should be about the possibility of advertising fresh concepts on evidence-based results in a non-biased, egalitarian, and open way with transparency the prime goal of editing such scientific discourse. By raising our foremost concerns and, hopefully, by the implementation of the proposed policy, we believe that these stated goals can be achieved, thus enhancing the true purpose of peer review particularly in the complex situation of scientific niches.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:25 Jan 2010 14:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:48
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1863-9526
Publisher DOI:10.1002/huon.200900004
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-28424

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