Archive by category | Perspectives

Stifling innnovation or filtering for excellence?

An article in the Financial Times, Science stifled? Why peer review is under pressure (11 June 2008), reports various recent criticisms of the peer-review system, including a letter to the newspaper by 25 distinguished scientists calling for a “global fund to support inspired scientists, free of peer review”; news of a Royal Society pilot scheme for a “blue skies” research fund, to avoid the “constraints of conventional peer review by using a generalist panel to consider proposals from any field, on the basis of their novelty and potential to open up new areas of science and technology”; and in the announcement of this year’s Grand Challenges programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Tachi Yamada, the foundation’s head of global health, is cited as saying “We’ve got to get around peer review – it’s anathema to innovation. Innovation has no peers, by definition.”  … Read more

How to assess innovation across disciplines

Ai Lin Chun, one of the Nature Nanotechnology editors, writes on Nature Network that the journal has received a few voluntary comments from referees recently on the topic of innovative (creative) papers versus those bridging the gap between ‘pure’ nanotechnology and applied clinical research. She explains that papers submitted to Nature Nanotechnlogy in the field of nanomedicine often struggle during the peer-review process for these and other reasons, providing a challenge for the editors in making their decisions about publication.  Read more

Blogging about peer-reviewed research

Bloggers for peer-reviewed research reporting, or BPR3, was conceived by scientists and others who write informally about research on the Internet as a simple way to denote that a blog post or website article is discussing peer-reviewed work. Their mission statement: “Bloggers for Peer-Reviewed Research Reporting strives to identify serious academic blog posts about peer-reviewed research by offering an icon and an aggregation site where others can look to find the best academic blogging on the Net.”  … Read more