peer review

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Research methods
Validating new knowledge- peer review
Peer review is the assessment of scientific work by others who are experts in the
same field. The parliamentary office of science and technology suggests that peer
review serves three main purposes:
Allocation of research funding: research is paid for by government and
charitable bodies, therefore peer review ensures that the research is worth
Publication of research in scientific journals: opportunity to share their
research, peer review works by correcting faulty and incorrect research
before entering the public domain.
Assessing the research rating of universities: all university science
departments are expected to conduct research and is assessed in terms of
quality. Future funding for the department depends on receiving good
Criticisms of peer review
Slow, expensive, subjective, prone to bias, easily abused and poor at licking
up on gross defects and almost useless at detecting fraud.
Not always possible to find an appropriate expert to review a report
Anonymity is used so reviewers can be honest without fearing the
consequences, however it can be used to rival somebody.
Publication bias: can have editors favour positive studies so as to increase
social standing of their journal.


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