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Anonymous

Peer Review under Scrutiny!
    #1273891 - 02/03/03 11:32 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Royal Society reacts to fears that the public has lost trust in science. By Pat Hagan

LONDON - Hard on the heels of another body's report questioning some of the benefits of peer review, the Royal Society, the leading academic scientific institution in Britain, is to investigate the peer review process because of concerns that abuses of the current system have dented public confidence in science.

A working party, under the leadership of Society vice president Patrick Bateson, is being set up to review the process and highlight best practices in the publication of scientific literature.

The aim is to examine possible flaws in the current mechanism for peer review, explore potential alternatives and highlight for the general public what to look for when judging the significance of a report on new research.

"We want to find ways of reassuring people that what the majority of scientists do is trustworthy," Bateson told the BBC Radio 4 programme Today last week. "At the moment there is a lot of mistrust."

While peer review itself will be a major focus of the effort, the Society also has concerns about the ways research results can end up reaching the media before going through the peer review process, such as through conferences, handouts and press briefings.

As part of its investigation, it will consult researchers, journal publishers, journalists and the wider public about how scientists should make known their findings. The end result, it says, will be two important documents - one a set of guidelines on best practice in releasing the results of scientific research, the other a "Science Brief" aimed at the public and offering practical advice on interpreting the importance of results.

The ten-member working group will include researchers, publishers and representatives from the media and is expected to complete its project by September of this year. Between now and then, it is expected the group will meet three or four times to discuss the issues.

Just last month, the Cochrane Collaboration, which periodically reviews scientific and medical data, released its report, "Editorial Peer Review for Improving the Quality of Reports of Biomedical Studies," in which it concluded there is little evidence to show peer review upholds good science.

To make the peer review system more transparent, some leading medical journals, such as the British Medical Journal, are exploring open peer review, in which manuscripts are posted on the Internet, along with signed reviews and comments from third party interests.

Labour MP Ian Gibson, chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, applauded the Royal Society's decision. "It's very welcome because peer review is an old process which needs re-examining," Gibson told The Scientist."

Hmm the fabled and sacrosanct "peer-review" not infallible? Blasphemy! 50,000 scientists can't be wrong. [/sarcasm]




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OfflineDavid_Scape
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Registered: 08/05/02
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Re: Peer Review under Scrutiny! [Re: ]
    #1274272 - 02/03/03 01:17 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

So peer review is getting reviewed? Sounds good to me! Wonder why they havent thought of this before?


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InvisibleSclorch
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Registered: 07/13/99
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Re: Peer Review under Scrutiny! [Re: ]
    #1275778 - 02/03/03 09:24 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

To make the peer review system more transparent, some leading medical journals, such as the British Medical Journal, are exploring open peer review, in which manuscripts are posted on the Internet, along with signed reviews and comments from third party interests.


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Anonymous

Re: Peer Review under Scrutiny! [Re: Sclorch]
    #1275828 - 02/03/03 09:49 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

When I created this thread I had you in mind. :wink: :smile:


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Peer Review under Scrutiny! [Re: ]
    #1275836 - 02/03/03 09:55 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

I know. :grin: 


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