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Would this proposal for peer review reform work?


What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia
From Jennifer Franklin at Elsevier Connect:

A new sort of peer review: RMR articles are sent for review without the results, discussion or conclusion (although data has already been collected) and reviewers are asked to evaluate the article on the research question and the methodology only. The review process is split into two stages. In stage 1, only the research question and methodology are sent for review, and reviewers are asked to provide a recommendation. If the paper is given an in-principle “accept” decision, the paper moves into stage 2 where the author submits the full paper for review. More detail on this process can be found here.

Get this:

If you asked a compelling question, used rigorous methods and data analysis, but got non-significant or unusual results, what would you do with that study? The sad truth is that many researchers would decide to not submit to a journal because of concerns getting it published. More.

Just think, if the founders of modern sciences had had conventional peer reviewers: Scientists would be evaluated today on their understanding of and support for phlogiston, ether, and spontaneous generation.

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See also: Peer review “unscientific”: Tough words from editor of Nature

Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista

polistra - it's not as simple as that. I'm a senior editor for a journal, and yes a lot of the time I can tell quickly if a submission is suitable. But that doesn't mean the manuscript should be published in that form. Peer review is still useful to help spot problems, and also to suggest a myriad of improvements. Bob O'H
Just skip the review. A good editor knows quickly and reliably whether a paper is worth publishing. Yeah, an editor has bias, but at least the bias is recognizable and accountable. With anonymous reviewers the bias is easy to hide and the blame is easy to escape. polistra

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