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Reviewing the review process: Investigation of researchers' opinions on different methods of peer review
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Peer review is considered the gold standard of scientific publishing. Trust in the traditional system of editor – blind-reviewer – author is still high, but it’s authority is in decline and alternative methods are on the rise. The current study investigates opinions of alternative peer review methods, the arguments for and against, and the reasons why academics are searching for new approaches. The opinions were analysed by applying qualitative content analysis to online discussions. The findings were interpreted using two different sociological theories: the Mertonian sociology of science and social constructivism. The results of the study show that the most discussed method was also the most traditional one: closed pre-publication peer review comprised of single blind, double-blind and open peer review (non blinded). Discussions of open peer review (both open publishing of reports and open discussions) were also common. All other alternative methods were discussed much less. But the discussions were lively and each method was discussed in both positive and negative terms. The reasons for preferring certain methods were also manifold, but dominant topics were bias and fairness, quality issues (regarding reviews and publications), issues concerning human resources and communication and exchange among people. The results of this study demonstrate that while ethical norms seems to be a scientific ideal, human nature makes it impossible to accomplish this goal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
peer review, alternative peer review methods, open peer review, closed peer review, pre-publication peer review, scholarly communication, scientific publishing, qualitative content analysis
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-14607OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-14607DiVA, id: diva2:1231764
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Available from: 2018-07-13 Created: 2018-07-09 Last updated: 2018-07-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf