Is Peer Review a Good Idea?

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):635-663 (2021)
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Abstract

Prepublication peer review should be abolished. We consider the effects that such a change will have on the social structure of science, paying particular attention to the changed incentive structure and the likely effects on the behaviour of individual scientists. We evaluate these changes from the perspective of epistemic consequentialism. We find that where the effects of abolishing prepublication peer review can be evaluated with a reasonable level of confidence based on presently available evidence, they are either positive or neutral. We conclude that on present evidence abolishing peer review weakly dominates the status quo.

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Author Profiles

Remco Heesen
London School of Economics
Liam Kofi Bright
London School of Economics