Validating new knowledge: peer review

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Research methods revision
Validating new knowledge-peer review
Peer review is the assessment of scientific work by fellow experts in the same
field. Peer review serves 3 main purposes:
Allocation of research funding: research is paid for by government or
charitable bodies therefore peer review ensures that the research is worth
the funding.
Publication of research in scientific journals: opportunity to share their
research, peer review works by correcting faulty research before entering
the public domain.
Assessing the research rating of universities: all university science
departments are expected to conduct research and is assessed on the
quality of this research. Future funding for the department depends on
receiving good ratings.
Criticisms of peer review
Slow, expensive, subjective, prone to bias, easily abused, 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 someone.
Publication bias: can have editors favour positive studies as to increase
social standing of their journal.


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