Portal:Peer review

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A reviewer at the American National Institutes of Health evaluates a grant proposal.

Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competences as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are used to maintain quality standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Peer review can be categorized by the type of activity and by the field or profession in which the activity occurs, e.g., medical peer review.

Selected article

In software development, peer review refers to a type of software review in which a work product (normally some form of document) is examined by its author and one or more colleagues, in order to evaluate its technical content and quality.

The purpose of a peer review is to provide "a disciplined engineering practice for detecting and correcting defects in software artifacts, and preventing their leakage into field operations" according to the Capability Maturity Model.

When performed as part of each Software development process activity, peer reviews identify problems and fix them early in the lifecycle. That is to say, a peer review that identifies a requirements problem during the Requirements analysis activity is cheaper and easier to fix than during the Software architecture or Software testing activities.

Read more about Software peer review.

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Did you know?

  • According to the common definition of a peer review, the first peer review was the Medical Essays and Observations published by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1731. The present-day peer review system evolved from this 18th century process?[1]
  • Some university presses undertake peer review of books. After positive review by two or three independent referees, a university press sends the manuscript to the press's editorial board, a committee of faculty members, for final approval?[2] And that such a review process is a requirement for full membership of the Association of American University Presses?[3]
  • Autoplagiarism involves an author republishing the same material or data without citing their earlier work?
  • The prominent academic journal Nature openly debates its own peer-review process in an attempt to answer questions about the effectiveness, value, and best practises for peer review?[4] [5]

Selected biography

Jan Hendrik Schön (born 1970) is a German physicist who briefly rose to prominence after a series of apparent breakthroughs that were later discovered to be fraudulent.[6] Before he was exposed, Schön had received the Otto-Klung-Weberbank Prize for Physics in 2001, the Braunschweig Prize in 2001 and the Outstanding Young Investigator Award of the Materials Research Society in 2002.

The Schön scandal provoked discussion in the scientific community about the degree of responsibility of coauthors and reviewers of scientific papers. The debate centered on whether peer review traditionally designed to find errors and determine relevance and originality of papers, should also be required to detect deliberate fraud.

Read more about Jan Hendrik Schön.


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  1. ^ Dale J. Benos et al.: "The Ups and Downs of Peer Review", Advances in Physiology Education, Vol. 31 (2007), pp. 145–152 (145): "Scientific peer review has been defined as the evaluation of research findings for competence, significance, and originality by qualified experts. These peers act as sentinels on the road of scientific discovery and publication."
  2. ^ Arnold, Gordon B. (2003). "University presses". In James W. Guthrie (ed.). Encyclopedia of Education. v. 7 (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 2601. ISBN 0-02-865601-6.
  3. ^ "AAUP Membership Benefits and Eligibility". Association of American University Presses. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  4. ^ Peer Review : Debate : Nature
  5. ^ Peer-to-Peer
  6. ^ "Scandal Rocks Scientific Community". Deutsche Welle. 30 Sep 2002.

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