peer review Archives — LIRNEasia

My talk at the International Research Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura has been published in a newspaper. I described two critical issues facing our country and highlighted the dearth of good evidence. In the concluding part, from which the excerpt is taken, I discussed the challenge of maintaining quality. We must do these hard things, subjecting ourselves to the highest levels of quality control. Because the only thing worse than not being engaged with the policy process is its pollution by the introduction of bad research into it.
How can peer review be effective when the underlying data cannot be shared? When scientists publish their research, they also make the underlying data available so the results can be verified by other scientists. At least that is how the system is supposed to work. But lately social scientists have come up against an exception that is, true to its name, huge. It is “big data,” the vast sets of information gathered by researchers at companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft from patterns of cellphone calls, text messages and Internet clicks by millions of users around the world.
For what LIRNEasia does, scholarly publishing with slow-paced peer review and print-on-paper publishing has not been the best fit. Our 2006 work got published in a 2008 book and our 2008 survey data got published in a special issue of a journal in 2011. But the question of assessing and ensuring quality is ever present and the natural answer is peer review. With peer review, delay is part of the package. Plus it can be a conservative force.

Peer review through blogging

Posted on September 21, 2008  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia is, among other things, a research organization.   Good research is what goes through peer review.  But peer review requires a lot of genuflection to the prior literature (not that easy to do, sitting in Sri Lanka/India/etc, and lacking access to all the relevant journals (despite the wonders made possible by Google).  It takes a horrendously long time. So it is with some pleasure that we see that peer review is being melded with blogging in the hope of accelerating the process: “Although Web 2.