UBC Graduate Research

Peer review and authority in scientific research Mukunda, Keshav


This paper studies the historical and philosophical roots of the current system of anonymous peer review in the field of scientific research. Using the intellectual disputes between the experimentalist Robert Boyle and the philosopher Thomas Hobbes in the late 17th century to frame opposing views of the structure and role of such review in the natural sciences, the paper argues that present attempts to refashion the prevailing environment of peer review – specifically through the use of open review models – can result in greater transparency and credibility in research, which in turn lends greater authority to the results of such work.

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