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Economics survey (Charness et al.)

Improving peer review in economics: Charness et al. project and survey

We designed and disseminated a survey taken by over 1,400 economists in order to (i) understand their experiences with peer review and (ii) collect opinions about potential proposals to improve the system.
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We reviewed the existing literature about peer review, drawing on sources from inside and outside of economics. ... We then built a (non-comprehensive) themed bibliography,
... we took the additional step of preparing a list of over 160 proposals.

Other peer-review models Our current peer-review system relies on the feedback of a limited number of ad-hoc referees, given after a full manuscript was produced. We consider several changes that could be made to this model, including:
  • Post-publication peer review: Submissions could be published immediately and then subjected to peer review, or they could be subject to continued evaluation at the conclusion of the standard peer-review process.
  • Peer review of registered reports: Empirical papers could be conditionally accepted before the results are known, based on their research question and design. A limited number of journals have started to offer publication tracks for registered reports.
  • Crowdsourced peer review and prediction markets: Rather than relying on a small number of referees, the wisdom of crowds could be leveraged to provide assessments of a manuscript's merits.
  • Non-economists and non-academics as referees: Besides enlarging the size of the pool of referees who assess a paper, the diversity of the pool could be increased by seeking the opinion of researchers from other disciplines or non-academics, such as policy makers.
  • Collaborative peer review platforms: Communication between authors, reviewers, and editors could be made more interactive, with the implementation of new channels for real-time discussion. Collaborative platforms could also be set up to solicit feedback before journal submission occurs.