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Stephen Page
07-20-1998, 12:58 AM
there was actually a very good and even-handed article discussing the
merits of the alternative peer review processes that you mention several
weeks ago in the chronicle of higher education. although i do not recall
the exact date, anyone who is interested in this issue may want to check
it out.

steve page, ph.d.
the university of tennessee

On Sat, 18 Jul 1998, Mel Siff wrote:

> Recently I encountered an interesting article questioning the value of the
> peer review in establishing scientific validity of research, written by a
> colleague of mine, Professor Henneberg, who also used to lecture at the
> University of the Witwatersrand in S Africa. The abstract of this article
> appears below, as well as the website which provides the entire article.
>
> Since then, I have come across several other articles on what we might term
> The Peer Review Reformation, which is now even suggesting that the Internet
> play a central role in the evaluation of the review process. This would then
> open up critical analysis to many readers and not simply a small inner circle
> of internally appointed journal reviewers who might have hidden agenda.
>
> Some scientists have openly welcomed this process because a few of them have
> added that, not only hidden agendas, but the subtle borrowing of original
> ideas by reviewers (who have the power to reject any given paper) is another
> negative aspect of the peer review.
>
> Thus, the review process can give the unscrupulous reviewer an unfair access
> to privileged information, a situation which never happens in the business
> world. Therefore, it would seem that 'industrial espionage' often is
> unnecessary in the world of science, simply because firsthand knowledge of
> anything novel reaches reviewers before it reaches the world at large.
>
> Read the additional websites and judge for yourselves the necessity for a Peer
> Review Reformation.
>
> Dr Mel C Siff
> Littleton, Colorado, USA
> mcsiff@aol.com
> __________________________________________________ ________
>
> PEER REVIEW: THE HOLY OFFICE OF MODERN SCIENCE
>
> By MACIEJ HENNEBERG
>
> Summary
>
> A brief historical overview of the origins of peer review reveals that it is
> neither the best means of evaluating contributions to science nor the one most
> commonly used during the period in which the modern scientific method
> developed. Throughout history, most scientists published their views without
> formal review and peers published their criticisms openly. It is argued here
> that peer review as now undertaken by most scientific journals stifles
> scientific communication, slows the advancement of knowledge and encourages
> dishonest
> behavior among referees. Alternatives to peer review that have already been
> used by some journals and funding bodies are described. Since these
> alternatives have proved themselves in practice, the now commonly practised
> form of peer review can be abandoned or modified. Electronic communication
> can facilitate this process.
>
> For full article, go to:
>
> http://www.naturalscience.com/ns/articles/01-02/ns_mh.html
> __________________________________________________ ________
>
> ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION
>
> British Medical Journal articles on the Peer Review Reformation.
>
> http://www.bmj.com/archive/6991ed2.htm
>
> http://www.bmj.com/archive/7111/7111e3.htm
>
> __________________________________________________ ______
>
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