Free Content Publications as a measure of scientific advancement and of scientists' productivity

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Robert Merton's norm of communalism states that academic scientists are obliged to publish their research findings; in order to ensure that credible knowledge is published, peer review is used for pre-publication evaluation of manuscripts. The present system of journal peer review has, however, been much criticized. The paper summarizes research on reliability, fairness and predictive validity of journal peer review. The review of the research literature concludes that journal peer review is valid and does in fact function as a quality filter. However, since there is a lot of ambiguity in the literature as well, pre-publication peer review should be supplemented with post-publication evaluation to find out which publications and scientists have contributed most to the scientific advancement.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2005

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  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther
    Reviews Editor: Pippa Smart

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
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