An Old Proposal For A New Profession: Scientific Reviewing

The Scientist, Vol:10,#16, p.12, August 19, 1996.
Author: Eugene Garfield

Recently, T.V. Rajan of the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington presented thoughtful comments on the possible causes of the science research funding crisis (The Scientist, April 29, 1996, page 10). As the percentage of government-funded research proposals continues to drop while the pressure to publish original research remains high, he asked a simple question: "Isn't it time for us to raise a generation of scholars instead of experimenters, people who are willing to read, assimilate, and really understand all the information?"

I empathized with these remarks. For decades I and others have addressed the need-and value-of scientific reviews (Current Contents, 46:5-6, Nov. 13, 1974). Indeed, I have also urged the development of scientific reviewing as an alternative career (Current Contents,...

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