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Peer Review Needs a Makeover

A UK parliamentary panel says peer review is still valuable, but should be supplemented by open review processes, preprint servers, and online repositories.

Tia Ghose

House of CommonsFLICKR, DTSOMP

The peer review system is important to the research community and shouldn’t be completely scrapped, despite flaws and a lack of evidence of its effectiveness, according to a UK parliamentary panel.

However, the research community should embrace newer approaches to supplement peer review, such as preprint servers, and forums for other scientists to comment post-publication, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report suggests. (See The Scientist’s feature on journals making such efforts to reform the review and publishing process.) The study also urges scientists to make all their data available online for other researchers to validate and reproduce.

In addition, while the report didn’t focus on research misconduct, it rated oversight of malfeasance in the UK “unsatisfactory,” and challenged the government to form a single agency to ensure scientific integrity, similar to the US Office of Research Integrity, ScienceInsider...

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