February 11, 2008

Reviewing code

Category: Academic,Geekitude,Hackers,Humor,Tech — Biella @ 4:19 am

The politics and language of judging code.

And speaking of peer review, Scott and Samir of Decoding Liberation have posted a blog post about the problems of peer review in the sciences, making some good points and opening what I hope will be an on-going discussion. I have a lot to add from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities, but that will have to wait for another day.


  1. Biella–

    Very interesting indeed.. Coincidentally, I’ve been thinking about this recently in the context of initiatives to bring peer review mechanisms to assessment of patent applications. (The Community Patent Initiative, for example.)

    Some useful references on both journal and grant peer review, FYI … The JAMA symposium is particularly good on medicine:

    Zuckerman HA, Merton RK. Patterns of evaluation in science: Institutionalization, structure and functions of the referee system. Minerva; 1971. 9:66-100.

    Burnham JC. The evolution of editorial peer review. JAMA. 263(10):1323-9, 1990 Mar 9.

    Horrobin DF. The philosophical basis of peer review and the suppression of innovation.JAMA. 263(10):1438-41, 1990 Mar 9.

    Rennie D. Fourth International Congress on Peer Review in Biomedical Publication. [Congresses. Editorial] JAMA. 287(21):2759-60, 2002 Jun 5.

    Smith R. Peer review: reform or revolution?[see comment]. [Editorial] BMJ. 315(7111):759-60, 1997 Sep 27.

    Good overviews of peer review more generally (including peer review for regulation, peer review of funding proposal):

    Chubin D., Jasanoff Sh. (1985) Peer review and public policy, Science Technology & Human Values, 10, 3(52), pp 3-5.

    Chubin D.E., Hackett E.J. (1990), Peerless science: peer review and U.S. science policy (Albany, St.Univ. of New York P.).

    Jasanoff S. (1990) The fifth branch. Science advisers as policymakers, (Cambridge Mass., Harvard U.P.).

    Peer review in health sciences edited by Fiona Godlee and Tom Jefferson.


    Comment by Bhaven Sampat — February 11, 2008 @ 5:32 am

  2. wow, thanks bhaven!


    Comment by Biella — February 11, 2008 @ 6:27 am

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