“Peer review, or refereeing, is a process of subjecting an author’s scholarly work or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the field. It is used primarily by publishers, to select and to screen submitted manuscripts, and by funding agencies, to decide the awarding of monies for research. The peer review process is aimed at getting authors to meet the standards of their discipline and of science generally. Publications and awards that have not undergone peer review are likely to be regarded with suspicion by scholars and professionals in many fields. Even refereed journals, however, have been shown to contain error, fraud and other flaws that undermine their information quality.”
Why peer review is important
Peer review is commonly accepted as an essential part of scientific publication. It provides a foundation for progress in fields of inquiry. Therefore, maintaining objectivity and acknowledging potential biases when called as an expert to review an article submitted for publication or a grant proposal is an important requirement in peer review. Publications and awards that have not been peer reviewed are likely to be regarded with suspicion by scholars and professionals in many fields. However, even peer reviewed publications have been known to contain error, fraud and other flaws that compromise the integrity of scientific findings.
- Responsible Authorship and Peer Review, by Columbia University
- Responsibilities of Editors and Reviewers by The Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science at Case Western Reserve University.