Global Challenges to Peer Review of Scientific Publications

Saturday, February 18, 2012: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 110 (VCC West Building)
What does peer review do for science and what does the scientific community want it to do for them? Does it illuminate good ideas or shut them down? Should reviewers remain anonymous? Should peer review detect plagiarism, bias, or fraud? Recent debates have called into question the system of peer review, such as protests suggesting that stem cell research is being blocked by biased reviewers or questioning whether climate scientists have used peer review to keep out different views. The largest-ever international survey on peer review was conducted in 2009 to track current opinions within the research community and, for the first time, consider its importance for wider public understanding of research. Building on this work, the first results of a follow-up 2011 peer review survey of academics and editors will be presented for the first time. Many challenges face peer review: immense global pressures from the expansion of the research community, the emphasis of impact factors over reviewing, and the development of new technologies and innovation in publishing. At this session, the panel will discuss what the future for peer review is and consider what the international community can do to address challenges. Does the system need to change? What are scientists' roles and responsibilities in the quality management of research? And can it help the public understand the status of scientific claims?
Julia R. Wilson, Sense About Science
Leonor Sierra, Sense About Science
Leonor Sierra, Sense About Science
Linda Miller, New York University Langone Medical Center
The Future of Peer Review
Chris Biemesderfer, American Astronomical Society
Peer Review and the Public
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