Archive for January 30th, 2008

HowTo: improve peer review

January 30, 2008

Grrlscientist has a must read post on how the current single-blind review process of papers makes it easy to discriminate against authors based on their gender; the post is based on a study carried out by some researchers at University of Toronto, and here is Grrlscientist’s conclusion:

Instead of hand-wringing and asking “Why are there so few women in science? Why are they leaving?”, it is time for the community to begin reflecting on the behavioral data they are being confronted with. Basically, the scientific community makes it very difficult for women to remain in the sciences, and one way in which they do this is through a demonstrable bias against women in the review process. In my opinion, it would take very little effort for the scientific publishers and granting agencies to change their review policies to incorporate the double-blind process, knowing that women (and scientific progress in general) will greatly benefit.

While I do agree with her, and am all for double-blind reviews, that is only my second choice; the first choice would be open review where both the authors and the reviewers are known to the entire world with the review also published (online, for public consumption). Any case, go take a look at the post as well as the comments on it.

PS: Hat tip to Abi for the pointer

Advertisements