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Big bucks for peer review?

The NIH's $1 billion linkurl:plan;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54733/ to improve peer review also includes compensation for reviewers: Grant reviewers will be compensated $250,000 for six years of service, if they qualify, The Chronicle of Higher Education linkurl:reported.;http://proxy.library.upenn.edu:2110/daily/2008/06/3136n.htm This surpasses the current $200 per day compensation. "In the end, peer review is only as good as the quality of the people doing it," Zerhouni told t

By | June 9, 2008

The NIH's $1 billion linkurl:plan;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54733/ to improve peer review also includes compensation for reviewers: Grant reviewers will be compensated $250,000 for six years of service, if they qualify, The Chronicle of Higher Education linkurl:reported.;http://proxy.library.upenn.edu:2110/daily/2008/06/3136n.htm This surpasses the current $200 per day compensation. "In the end, peer review is only as good as the quality of the people doing it," Zerhouni told the Chronicle. "I think you get what you pay for." Reviewers would qualify for the compensation by attending 18 peer review committee study sections, the Chronicle reported. By that standard only 7%, or 500, of current peer reviewers would qualify for the compensation. The NIH did not confirm these numbers before the deadline for this article. Agency spokesman Don Ralbovsky told The Scientist the numbers were generally correct but that he was uncomfortable with the Chronicle's article. He declined to elaborate. In addition to the compensation plan, the Chronicle also reported that grant applications will be required to be 12 pages, not 20, as they are now. Correction: In the original version of this blog Don Ralbovsky's last name was incorrectly spelled. The spelling has been changed and The Scientist regrets the error.
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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 4

June 10, 2008

you have don's last name wrong. and what else? take some time to check facts and not put stuff like this out there.

June 10, 2008

Dear Anonymous,\nThanks very much for catching the spelling mistake. A correction has been made and The Scientist regrets the error.\nThanks for reading!\n\nAndrea Gawrylewski\nAssociate Editor\nThe Scientist
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 2

June 10, 2008

Will grant reviewers really be paid $250,000 for 6 years of service? If my math is correct, the 500 or so reviewers that qualify would "earn" nearly $14,000 per study section (~$42,000 per year - a postdoc's salary) and would end up costing the NIH $125,000,000 over the 6 year time frame. While I think that reviewers should be better compensated, is this the best use of $125 million?
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 182

June 11, 2008

$13,333 per review committee study section ??????????. It sounds IRRESPONSIBLE to me considering how many excellent scientists and clinicians are struggling for funding !!!. I hope that Reviewers ask NIH to reconsider the offer.\n\n\n\n
Avatar of: Beth Schachter

Beth Schachter

Posts: 1

June 12, 2008

Scientists serving the full 18 sessions over six years will qualify to "apply for an administrative supplement [of their own NIH grant] of up to $250K," according to Dr. Taback's slide at the June 6 meeting. They won't just get to pocket the money and take it home. :-}
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 10

June 15, 2008

Paying the reviewers more is only a failed attempt to patch a system that has survived itself. No matter how good the reviewer is, the fact that less than 10% of the applications are funded is the problem. It once again symptomatic of a nation that too often misses the point, puts on a patch instead of going to the heart of the problem. It is evident everywhere from our refusal to modernize our constitution so we become a real democracy like the rest of the Western world, instead we amend, to our educational system where we add a few stipends to cover the skyrise of tuition, instead of offering free education as they do in Europe to the way we patch our roads every year, instead of building decent roads from the beginning. In short we never are able to go for the problem directly, and this is another example of patching.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 182

June 17, 2008

Peer review, at all levels, needs thorough reconsideration.It has been said that the NIH peer review is the best in the world because is based on competition. I'd agree with the statement in general terms; except that the meaning of competition needs reexamination. Just thinking about the "publications world" and its impact, during the last 20 years, on getting NIH grants.\nInvestigator productivity has been a big "concept", heavily relying in number of publications: high number production, mainly based on descriptive, repetitive studies, versus high value production based on creative ideas and social impact.\n\nIt would not be a bad idea if scientific and clinical journals reexamined the criteria for membership of Editorial and Reviewing Boards. It may help in making the NIH review system the best in the world.\n\nPerhaps, having all the voices heard and getting free of inappropriate influences is everybody's business.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 182

June 22, 2008

Dear "The Scientist",\n\nThank you for allowing this public debate on peer review. I've come across a related article published in 1993: "Are new riches in store for superstars of research ? If some trends continue the answer is Yes.". It appears as if this article is not access-free, requiring a $4.65 full access subscription. \nI recognize that $4.65 is very little money. Yet, in these times of economic uncertainty, there might be citizens not able to afford it. Would The Scientist be generous enough and make this article access free ?.\n\nGoing back in history might not always be comforting; it is, however, always educational and, at times, inspiring.\n\nThank you

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Mettler Toledo
BD Biosciences
BD Biosciences