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Effectiveness of Anonymization in Double-Blind Review

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Indigophoton, May 28, 2018.

  1. Indigophoton

    Indigophoton Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://m.cacm.acm.org/magazines/20...anonymization-in-double-blind-review/fulltext
     
    Woolie, JaimeS, sb4 and 10 others like this.
  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I prefer double unblinded review and publication of the review and reviewer attached to the paper. Then if the reviewer says anything stupid or irrelevant or vindictive it is apparent for all to see. PLOS One already has something a bit like this.
     
  3. BruceInOz

    BruceInOz Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Wouldn't this effectively preclude young researchers from reviewing papers by senior, influential authors in their field? The knowledge that those authors may be on a future job selection panel would undoubtedly impact what the young reviewer felt able to say. My memory of being asked to review during my first postdoc is that I was glad of the anonymity.

    My feeling is that the review should stand on it's merits. If the review is unsupportable the authors will challenge it and an editorial review of the review should see it for what it is, perhaps eventually leading to that reviewers services not being required in the future.

    I understand your concerns but that solution could put young reviewers in an untenable position. How would one then learn the art of reviewing?
     
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  4. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't think there is an 'art of reviewing'. Reviewing is just giving an honest opinion. It is not unreasonable that senior people are asked to review if you have a system as at present. My idea is that you do not have formal prepublication review. You post your paper on your university website and then it is open to anyone to comment on. If junior people are worried about upsetting people they need not post comments.

    The problem with the current system is that most editors are pretty dumb and do not see where reviewers are being unreasonable. The whole thing has been a shambles for decades.
     
  5. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Who is reviewing the reviewers?
     
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  6. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  7. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

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    I agree there are still unresolved issues. The main problem is that its hard to get anyone to review at all, there's a major reviewer recruitment crisis. And I certainly don't think making reviews unblinded will help with that. Quite the opposite.
     
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  8. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It's a fiendish problem for science.

    Are reviewers going to have to be paid? Do we in effect need a class of professional reviewers?
     
    Trish likes this.
  9. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

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    Well, that's not ideal either. Having payment associated with it will create its own problems. Reviewers might be motivated to be tougher or gentler if they think it will get them more future gigs. That sort of thing.
     

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