Peer review is the governing mechanism of the academy--the means for hiring and promotion, vetting of publications, and the distribution of research funds. As such, peer review has been a disciplinary concept: biologists judge biological research in terms of biological criteria. Today, however, increased calls for accountability have led the scientific community to try to introduce questions of societal impact into the peer review process, essentially 'interdisciplining' peer review.
CSID's research project in the philosophy of peer review seeks to understand the tradeoffs in this redefinition of peer review, e.g., between scientific autonomy and accountability. The Comparative Assessment of Peer Review (CAPR) is a four year project (2008-2012) studying the changing nature of the peer review processes across 6 US and foreign public science agencies, with particular focus on how different agencies attempt to integrate broader societal impacts issues into the review of grant proposals. CAPR is funded by the NSF's Science of Science & Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program.
CAPR's products will include:
- a repository of documents relating to the peer review process at each of these agencies
- a survey of stakeholders concerning the peer review process
- a series of publications
This project is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 083038
This project is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 064957.
- CSID also co-sponsored a related workshop with CEPTES, "Research Funding and the Good Life," at the University of Twente in March, 2009. This workshop examined the differences between US and EU/Dutch ways of assessing the societal relevance, or 'broader impacts' of science and technology. This workshop was co-organized by CEPTES, and made possible by a financial contribution of the 3TU. Center for Ethics and Technology.
- The Office of Science and Technology Policy's Science of Science Policy (SoSP) Interagency Group and the National Science Foundation's Science of Science & Innovation Policy (SciSIP) joint website.