Peer Review: A Critical Inquiry (Issues in Academic Ethics)

Shatz, David

Peer review is the process by which submissions to journals and presses are evaluated with regard to suitability for publication. Armed with the results of numerous empirical studies, critics have leveled a variety of harsh charges against peer review such as: reviewers and editors are biased toward authors from prestigious institutions, peer review is biased toward established ideas, and it does a poor job of detecting errors and fraud. While an immense literature has sprouted on peer review in the sciences and social sciences, Peer Review is the first book-length, wide-ranging study of peer review that utilizes methods and resources of contemporary philosophy. Its six chapters cover the following topics: the tension between peer review and the liberal notion that truth emerges when ideas proliferate in the marketplace of ideas; arguments for and against blind review of submissions; the alleged conservatism of peer review; the anomalous nature of book reviewing; the status of non-peer-reviewed publications, such as invited articles or Internet publications, in tenure and promotion cases; and the future of peer review in the age of the Internet. The author has also included several key readings about peer review.

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