The National Institutes of Health uses small groups of scientists to judge the quality of the grant proposals that they receive, and these quality judgments form the basis of its funding decisions. In order for this system to fund the best science, the subject experts must, at a minimum, agree as to what counts as a “quality”proposal. We investigated the degree of agreement by leveraging data from a recent experiment with 412 scientists.
The Peer Review Game: an Agent-based Model of Scientists Facing Resource Constraints and Institutional Pressures
This paper looks at peer review as a cooperation dilemma through a game-theory framework. We built an agent-based model to estimate how much the quality of peer review is influenced by different resource allocation strategies followed by scientists dealing with multiple tasks, i.e., publishing and reviewing.
Assessing Peer Review by Gauging the Fate of Rejected Manuscripts: the Case of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
This paper investigates the fate of manuscripts that were rejected from JASSS- The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, the flagship journal of social simulation. We tracked 456 manuscripts that were rejected from 1997 to 2011 and traced their subsequent publication as journal articles, conference papers or working papers.
This paper investigates the impact of referee behaviour on the quality and efficiency of peer review. We focused on the importance of reciprocity motives in ensuring cooperation between all involved parties. We modelled peer review as a process based on knowledge asymmetries and subject to evaluation bias. We built various simulation scenarios in which we tested different interaction conditions and author and referee behaviour. We found that reciprocity cannot always have per se a positive effect on the quality of peer review, as it may tend to increase evaluation bias. It can have a positive effect only when reciprocity motives are inspired by disinterested standards of fairness.
Does Incentive Provision Increase the Quality of Peer Review? An Experimental Study
Although peer review is crucial for innovation and experimental discoveries in science, it is poorly understood in scientific terms. Discovering its true dynamics and exploring adjustments which improve the commitment of everyone involved could benefit scientific development for all disciplines and consequently increase innovation in the economy and the society.
Saint Matthew Strikes Again: An Agent-based Model of Peer Review and the Scientific Community Structure
This paper investigates the impact of referee reliability on the quality and efficiency of peer review. We modeled peer review as a process based on knowledge asymmetries and subject to evaluation bias.
Although there is growing concern about the urgent need for a better life-work balance when doing science, there are not many examples about how this could be achieved in practice. In this article, 10 simple rules are introduced to make the working environment of research labs more nurturing, collaborative, and people-centered.
Peer Review or Lottery? A Critical Analysis of Two Different Forms of Decision-Making Mechanisms for Allocation of Research Grants
By forming a pool of funding applicants who have minimal qualification levels and then selecting randomly within that pool, funding agencies could avoid biases, disagreement and other limitations of peer review.
Attitudes of Referees in a Multidisciplinary Journal: An Empirical Analysis
Paper finds that the disciplinary background and the academic status of the referee have an influence on their reviewing tasks. Articles that had been recommended by a multidisciplinary set of referees were found to receive subsequently more citations than those that had been reviewed by referees from the same discipline.
Paper provides new evidence on gender bias in teaching evaluations. Despite the fact that neither students’ grades nor self-study hours are affected by the instructor’s gender, it was found that women receive systematically lower teaching evaluations than their male colleagues.
Use of the Journal Impact Factor in Academic Review, Promotion, and Tenure Evaluations
The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) was originally designed to aid libraries in deciding which journals to index and purchase for their collections. Over the past few decades, however, it has become a relied upon metric used to evaluate research articles based on journal rank. Surveyed faculty often report feeling pressure to publish in journals with high JIFs and mention reliance on the JIF as one problem with current academic evaluation systems.
SPARC Landscape Analysis - The Changing Academic Publishing Industry
This landscape analysis studies the growing trend of commercial acquisition of critical research infrastructure. It intends to provide a comprehensive look at the current players in this arena, their strategies and potential actions. They conclude that key stakeholders such as libraries must be able to prioritize their own infrastructure funding.
The Two-Way Street of Open Access Journal Publishing: Flip It and Reverse It
As Open access is often perceived as the end goal of scholarly publishing, much research has focused on flipping subscription journals to an OA model. Focusing on what can happen after the presumed finish line, this study identifies journals that have converted from OA to a subscription model, and places these “reverse flips” within the greater context of scholarly publishing.
#DontLeaveItToGoogle: How Open Infrastructures Enable Continuous Innovation in the Research Workflow
Closed and proprietary infrastructures limit the accessibility of research, often putting paywalls in front of scientific knowledge. But they also severely limit reuse, preventing other tools from building on top of their software, data, and content. The presentation demonstrates how open infrastructures can help us move beyond this issue and create an ecosystem that is community-driven and community-owned.
Potential Bias in Peer Review of Grant Applications at the Swiss National Science Foundation
Study shows that peer review of grant applications at the SNSF may be prone to biases stemming from different applicant and reviewer characteristics. Based on this study, the SNSF abandoned nomination of reviewers by applicants, and made members of panels aware of the other systematic differences in scores.
Science and Its Significant Other: Representing the Humanities in Bibliometric Scholarship
The article explores the conceptual frameworks, methods, and data sources used in bibliometrics to study the nature of the humanities, and its differences and similarities in comparison with other scientific domains.
The changing world of scholarly communication and the emergence of 'Open Science' or 'Open Research' has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly-debated topics. Yet, evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication.
The Life of P.I. - Transitions to Independence in Academia
The data in this report summarises the responses gathered from 365 principle investigators of academic laboratories, who started their independent positions in the UK within the last 6 years up to 2018. We find that too many new investigators express frustration and poor optimism for the future. These data also reveal, that many of these individuals lack the support required to make a successful transition to independence and that simple measures could be put in place by both funders and universities in order to better support these early career researchers. We use these data to make both recommendations of good practice and for changes to policies that would make significant improvements to those currently finding independence challenging. We find that some new investigators face significant obstacles when building momentum and hiring a research team. In particular, access to PhD students. We also find some important areas such as starting salaries where significant gender differences persist, which cannot be explained by seniority. Our data also underlines the importance of support networks, within and outside the department, and the positive influence of good mentorship through this difficult career stage.
Meta-Research: How Significant Are the Public Dimensions of Faculty Work in Review, Promotion and Tenure Documents?
An analysis of review, promotion and tenure documents from 129 US and Canadian universities suggests institutions could better fulfill their public missions by changing how they incentivize the public dimensions of faculty work.
International Differences in Basic Research Grant Funding - a Systematic Comparison
Using a structured systematic comparative approach, this study analyses differences in basic research grant funding between the main academic research funding agency of Germany and the main agencies of five other countries, including the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Open peer review (OPR) is moving into the mainstream, but it is often poorly understood and surveys of researcher attitudes show important barriers to implementation. There is a clear need for best practice guidelines for implementation.