The policy challenges of peer review: managing bias, conflict of interests and interdisciplinary assessments29 Mar 2012
Characteristics and challenges of peer review are elucidated from three different perspectives: a social dynamics perspective defining peer review as an important control mechanism in the research community; an uncertainty perspective focusing on the inherent uncertainty in judging research quality: and an organisational perspective focusing on the effects of different ways of organising peer review. Findings from a broad set of empirical studies are used. Peer review often has some conservative and risk-minimising aspects, which may disfavour interdisciplinary and non-conventional research. When the aim is to actively promote interdisciplinary or other kinds of non-conventional research, the involved peer-review system consequently needs to be adjusted to a more risk-taking mode.