At The Scholarly Kitchen, David Crotty is not so sure whether peer review really is a "burden." In fact, the blogger argues that the costs of reviewing papers, when weighed against the benefits, are not overbearing. "A recent study suggests that 'unpaid non-cash costs of peer review' undertaken by academics works out to £1.9 billion," Crotty writes. "That seems like a lot of money, but when one amortizes it across the total number of working scientists … using today's exchange rate, it works out to around $256 per researcher per year." While the blogger notes that some researchers take on more papers to review and that participation can vary by discipline, among other factors, he essentially argues that "having your most important information source vetted by experts" is worth $256 annually. To counter the argument that "researchers are buried in a constant avalanche of papers," Crotty says, "Imagine the size of that avalanche in a system where no paper is ever rejected, where everything gets published."
Is It Really?
Sep 02, 2010