Peer review

Peer review means that an action of an individual person may be looked at again (reviewed) by someone of similar competence in that activity - a peer. More formally it is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility. In academia 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. In general, those involved in a given profession or particular organization identify their particular process by the generic term "peer review". So, even when qualifiers are applied the elements of peer review may appear to be inconsistent. For example, medical peer review can refer to clinical peer review, or the peer evaluation of clinical teaching skills for both physicians and nurses,[1][2] or scientific peer review of journal articles, or to a secondary round of peer review for the clinical value of articles concurrently published in medical journals.[3] Moreover, "medical peer review" has been used by the American Medical Association to refer not only to the process of improving quality and safety in health care organizations, but also to the process of rating clinical behavior or compliance with professional society membership standards.[4][5] Thus, the terminology has poor standardization and specificity, particularly as a database search term. Professional peer review Professional peer review focuses on the performance of professionals, with a view to improving quality, upholding standards, or providing certification. Professional peer review activity is widespread in the field of health care, where it is best termed Clinical peer review.[6] Further, since peer review activity is commonly segmented by clinical discipline, there is also physician peer review, nursing peer review, dentistry peer review,[7] etc. Many other professional fields have some level of peer review process: accounting,[8] law,[9][10] engineering (e.g., software peer review, technical peer review), aviation, and eve

forest fire management.[11] In academia, peer review is common in decisions related to faculty advancement and tenure. Peer review is used in education to achieve certain learning objectives, particularly as a tool to reach higher order processes in the affective and cognitive domains as defined by Bloom's Taxonomy. This may take a variety of forms, including closely mimicking the scholarly peer review processes used in science and medicine.Scholarly peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal. The work may be accepted, considered acceptable with revisions, or rejected. Peer review requires a community of experts in a given (and often narrowly defined) field, who are qualified and able to perform impartial review. Impartial review, especially of work in less narrowly defined or inter-disciplinary fields, may be difficult to accomplish; and the significance (good or bad) of an idea may never be widely appreciated among its contemporaries. Although generally considered essential to academic quality, and used in most important scientific publications, peer review has been criticized as ineffective, slow, and misunderstood (also see anonymous peer review and open peer review). Other critiques of the current peer review process from concerned scholars has stemmed from recent controversial studies published by the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and NASA.[14] These two published articles are now case studies of peer review failure. There have also recently been experiments with wiki-style, signed, peer reviews, for example in an issue of the Shakespeare Quarterly.[15] Pragmatically, peer review refers to the work done during the screening of submitted manuscripts and funding applications. This process encourages authors to meet the accepted standards of their discipline and prevents the dissemination of irrelevant findings, unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations, and personal views. Publications that have not undergone peer review are likely to be regarded with suspicion by scholars and professionals.