Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Peer Review Process
Norman A. Constantine
Peer review is a process whereby experts help judge the value of a work that they were not part of creating. Editorial peer review involves scientific or academic manuscripts submitted for publication or meeting presentation, while grant peer review involves review of funding applications. This entry focuses on editorial peer review of work submitted to scientific journals, although some of the issues discussed apply to other types of peer review as well. The primary function of editorial peer review is gate-keeping—selecting the best from a pool of submissions. In addition, peer review often involves constructive criticisms intended to improve a submitted work prior to publication. A common misunderstanding is that peer review validates the scientific integrity of a published article. Expecting such validation is unrealistic, as reviewers typically have access only to what the author or authors present in the manuscript. Important logistical and methodological decisions made along the way ...