Tuesday, 31 August 2010

“Anything that isn’t peer-reviewed . . . is worthless”

An interesting article on the Society for Scholarly Publishing blog on the perceived and real burden of peer reviewing, in relation to articles rather than grants.' I’ve always thought of peer-review as a tremendously efficient bargain,' writes the author, David Crotty. Whilst some point to the unpaid burden faced by academics in reviewing articles (estimated to be worth $1.9bn), Crotty works out that this is 'around $256 per researcher per year.' Commenting on alternative systems that have been suggested for reviewing articles (as reported on this blog here), Crotty says 'replacing a flawed system with one that’s even more flawed is not an option.'

'In an age of information overload, we need more filters, not fewer. Yes, peer-review can be improved, and yes, if one could actually generate participation, post-publication review could be tremendously valuable.'

He concludes: 'the best bet for the future is adding to peer-review rather than doing away with it altogether.'

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