Peer review at the University of Tromsø : a study of time spent on reviewing and researchers’ opinions on peer review
This thesis examines peer review at the University of Tromsø (UiT). It focuses on how much time is spent on reviewing at this particular institution, in addition to examine the researchers’ opinions on several aspects of peer review. It starts with a theoretical introduction to peer review, with a historical background, presentations of different models, problems and advantages in the review process, peer review’s role in the publication system etc. After this general introduction, peer review at UiT will be the main point of interest. The method used for data collection was a survey, with an online questionnaire sent to researchers at UiT. Key findings from the survey are that 69% of the respondents are active reviewers (did one or more reviews annually), and altogether, these reviewers carry out 1850 reviews annually. This makes an average of 4.9 reviews per active reviewer. Average time spent per review was 7.8 hours, and the total number of hours spent on reviewing annually by the respondents amounted to 12 614 hours. The number of hours for UiT as a whole should be higher, since many researchers did not respond to the survey. While priority given to peer review is relatively high, 26% of the requests to review are declined. Few researchers have received courses and training, while some, especially new and inexperienced reviewers, would like courses and training. All over, many researchers want reviewing to become included in the performance-based budgeting system, and thought peer review should be better acknowledged in their own institution, and be more visible as a part of scientific research. The findings are discussed in relation to the individual researchers, the institution, and the research community. This discussion shows that there are reasons for making peer review more visible and recognized, especially considering the extensive amount of time and work spent on reviewing.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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Copyright 2010 The Author(s)
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