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A reviewer at the American National Institutes of Health evaluates a grant proposal.

Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are used to maintain quality standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Peer review can be categorized by the type of activity and by the field or profession in which the activity occurs, e.g., medical peer review.

Professional

Professional peer review focuses on the performance of professionals, with a view to improving quality, upholding standards, or providing certification. In academia, peer review is used to inform in decisions related to faculty advancement and tenure.[1] Henry Oldenburg (1619–1677) was a German-born British philosopher who is seen as the 'father' of modern scientific peer review.[2][3][4]

A prototype professional peer-review process was recommended in the Ethics of the Physician written by Ishāq ibn ʻAlī al-Ruhāwī (854–931). He stated that a visiting physician had to make duplicate notes of a patient's condition on every visit. When the patient was cured or had died, the notes of the physician were examined by a local medical council of other physicians, who would decide whether the treatment had met the required standards of medical care.[5]

Professional peer review is common in the field of health care, where it is usually called clinical peer review.[6] Further, since peer review activity is commonly segmented by clinical discipline, there is also physician peer review, nursing peer review, dentistry peer review, etc.[7] Many other professional fields have some level of peer review process: accounting,[8] law,[9][10] engineering (e.g., software peer review, technical peer review), aviation, and even forest fire management.[11]

Peer review is used in education to achieve certain learning objectives, particularly as a tool to reach higher order processes in the affective and cognitive domains as defined by Bloom's taxonomy. This may take a variety of forms, including closely mimicking the scholarly peer review processes used in science and medicine.[12][13]

Scholarly

Scholarly peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journalPeer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are used to maintain quality standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Peer review can be categorized by the type of activity and by the field or profession in which the activity occurs, e.g., medical peer review.