Peer review inquiry – written evidence

I wrote a couple of months back about the background to the Science & Technology Select Committee’s inquiry into peer review. The Select Committee has published all the written evidence submitted to its inquiry. The publication of written evidence provides a useful pointer to what are the key issues under consideration, though with 87 submissions I must confess I have not read them! The next step will be for the Committee to invite some witnesses to give oral evidence and submit to questioning by the Committee.

The list of those submitting evidence is impressive, from publishers and their representatives:

  • Elsevier
  • Wiley-Blackwell
  • PLoS
  • BioMedCentral
  • Publishers Association
  • STM
  • BMJ group
  • Richard Horton (Lancet)
  • Philip Campbell (Nature)

From funders:

  • RCUK
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Cancer Research UK

From learned societies (many of these of course are also publishers):

  • Royal Society
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Institute of Physics
  • BMA
  • Society of General Microbiology

From other bodies with an interest in publishing and scholarly communication:

  • Committee on Publication Ethics
  • UK Research Integrity Office
  • Sense about Science
  • JISC (for the OA Implementation Group)
  • Iain Chalmers (James Lind Library)

And there is also evidence from a whole host of academics and individuals, across a range of disciplines (e.g. Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Mark Bretscher, David Taylor) including a couple of pro vice chancellors (Ian Walmsley, from Univ Oxford; Thomas Ward, from UEA). Some of those connected with or commenting on the “Climategate” affair provided evidence: Thomas Ward, John McLean and Lawrence Souder. McLean’s evidence is fascinating as it includes some of the Climategate correspondence that relates to the peer review of particular articles. Ralph Kenna and Bertrand Berche give an analysis of the consistency of the RAE process, while Alastair Gill and Nigel Gilbert present evidence on the quality of science, from their QLectives project.

That is just a partial list of the evidence, highlighting what look to be more substantial or interesting submissions, and ignoring most of those outside the biomedical field. I don’t envy the Committee members who must read and digest all of this.

About Frank Norman

I am a retired librarian. I spent 40 years working in biomedical research libraries.
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One Response to Peer review inquiry – written evidence

  1. Frank says:

    Research Fortnight have posted a brief resume, drawing out some points from the evidence.

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