Science and Engineering Ethics 5 (4):531-540 (1999)

Justifying ethical practices is no easy task. This paper considers moral justifications for peer review so as to persuade even the sceptical individualist. Two avenues provide a foundation for that justification: self-interest and social contract theory. A wider notion of “interest” permits the self-interest approach to justify not only submitting one’s own work to peer review but also removing oneself momentarily from the production of primary knowledge to serve as a rigorous, independent, and honest referee. The contract approach offers a non-selfish alternative and relies on four types of binding social contracts: those implicit in accepting funds, those implicit in asserted professional status, those to contribute what is of most value to society, and those to defend the ideals of the Academy. Efforts to restore respect for rigorous, independent, honest peer review should begin in earnest
Keywords peer review  social contract  individualism  moral economy of science
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-999-0053-2
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophy of Biology.Elliott Sober - 1993 - Westview Press.
The Elements of Moral Philosophy.James Rachels & Stuart Rachels - 1986 - McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages.

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