Peer Review: Open, Not Anonymous

While Eliezer Geisler1 most likely appreciates "many weaknesses of the peer review process," his overly optimistic mantra that the "subjective assessment of quality by a group of selected knowledgeable people in a given scientific field remains the only operational control process designed to differentiate between poor and good science" is, unfortunately, not free from circular logic. Not going into a detailed discussion here,2 I will just indicate the main problem. If, as it stays now, peer re

Alexander Berezin
Jul 22, 2001
While Eliezer Geisler1 most likely appreciates "many weaknesses of the peer review process," his overly optimistic mantra that the "subjective assessment of quality by a group of selected knowledgeable people in a given scientific field remains the only operational control process designed to differentiate between poor and good science" is, unfortunately, not free from circular logic.

Not going into a detailed discussion here,2 I will just indicate the main problem. If, as it stays now, peer review remains anonymous, how do we know that people "selected" to perform it are indeed "knowledgeable"? By whom they are "selected" and how do we know that the selectors are themselves competent? And how do we render peer reviewers accountable for their (often erroneous) recommendations? At the very least we need an open review system when all key steps of research assessment are publicly open and no anonymity is tolerated.

Alexander A....

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