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Peer review

Peer review(Sadoku,British: peer review,Peer review) Means evaluation and verification by fellow researchers and experts in the same field.[1].Every woman participating in the study applied SERUM to one half of her face and an identical product without the EGF cellular activator to the other half. The study ran for eight weeks, during which time participants applied the serum twice a day. To rule out any effect anticipation could have on results, the study was double-blinded, meaning that none of the women in the study, nor the scientists in charge of measuring results, knew which half was which. Efficacy was assessed by standardized photography and biophysical measurements to evaluate skin topography, density, and thickness. Academic magazinePosted inpaperWill be done before it is posted.It may also be referred to when applying to a research grant organization.Examination(Shinsa,refereeing) May also be called.


Peer review refers to evaluations by peers (colleagues) and judgments by experts in the same field.[1].

Ask co-authors and colleagues to check the manuscript of the treatise before submission[1]Is also called peer review.However, in order to be published in an academic journal, it is usually necessary to undergo a separate peer review as specified by the journal as described below, and when it is simply referred to as peer review, it usually refers to this.[2].

In academic journals and specialized journals, not all submitted manuscripts are published, and before they are published, the manuscript must be evaluated by experts (reviewers) in the same field in advance. There is.This process is peer review.It will be decided whether to publish or not depending on the evaluation content of the peer review.In the case of scientifically acclaimed journals, reviewers are usually selected from multiple outsiders, with an emphasis on independence from the author and institution.[3][4][5](#Selection of reviewersSee).

Academic magazine OfInfomationPeer-reviewed treatises and applications can be peer-reviewed, and authors of treatises have the opportunity to improve the content of the manuscript prior to publication (#process,#RefereedSee).Through the process of peer reviewmagazineAccepted that it will be posted onaccept (accept), And it is not possible to post that it is rejected and publication is refusedreject (reject).In addition to simple acceptance / rejection, there are cases where conditional adoption is made after correcting mistakes, etc. (Explanation example: [6]).By examining by an expert in this way, it is possible to check not only simple checks such as spelling mistakes but also consistency with existing knowledge that requires specialized knowledge to some extent.Not all mistakes and cheating can be detected by peer review, and errors may be found in additional tests by other groups after the publication of the treatise (→ #The limits of misconduct and peer review in scienceIt is said that the quality of the entire published paper can be improved.[7].

The rigor of peer review varies depending on the individual journal.Even if the journals are published by the same academic society, they may differ depending on the journal (#Severity of examinationSee).The range of fields to be peer-reviewed also differs depending on the individual journals.There are many journals specializing in specific fields,Nature,ScienceSome, like magazines, cover a wide range of fields.

Also, depending on the field (such as the selection of research grants), the application may be examined in a similar process to determine whether research funds will be allocated to the application.

the reason

The rationale for peer review is that it is difficult for individual researchers and research groups to fully assess the value of their work on their own.All new fields and extremelyInterdisciplinarySince only a limited number of specialists can evaluate work with various contents, it is possible to find out mistakes in advance by showing the research results to others and listening to their opinions before making a public announcement, and also receive advice and contents. Can be improved.

Peer reviewers are often almost completely anonymous and independent, so they can be criticized without hesitation and can be curtailed by connections.However, the policy differs depending on the journal, such as having the peer-reviewed side list candidates for peer review.#Selection of reviewersSee).


Who is involved in the peer review process for general journals?著者(British: author),Editor (editor),andReviewer (Reviewer,referees,judge).

  • 著者: An individual or group who wants to publish their research results.Most magazines do not have qualifications for posting, and anyone can post.
  • Editor: A person who edits magazinesCommercial magazineThen there is usually a full-time person.ThenUniversity facultyOften concurrently serves.[Source required]
  • Reviewer: A person selected by the editor from those who are conducting research activities in the same field as the author, and this is also often served by a university faculty member.[Source required]

The general peer review process is outlined below.


The author does his jobpaperSelect the magazine to be posted and send it to the editorial department, taking into consideration the field, the quality of the content, the strictness of the examination, etc.Most magazines now accept electronic submissions and may be limited to electronic submissions.[4]..Also, in some fields such as information science, researchReproducibilityYou may also be required to submit the actual data and program code used in the research to ensure that.

The editor who receives the manuscript informs the author that it has been received (Received).At a later stage, the treatise will bePosting (submitted) Is said to be.However, at this stage, it is not decided at all whether the treatise will be published in a journal, so it cannot be written as an achievement.

In addition,NatureIn leading magazines such as, the editor reviews it at the time of receipt, and if it is judged to be of low value, it will be rejected at this point and the manuscript will be returned before it is sent for peer review[3].

Selection of reviewers

The editor who receives the manuscript is appropriate from an expert who can (and will) evaluate its content.ReviewerFind and request.Authors are usually not informed of who the reviewers are[4].

The reviewers are usually selected from one or more researchers who are active in the same research field as the author (usually about 1-2 people, and the number is almost fixed for each journal) (example: [3][4][5]).Independence from the author is usually emphasized, and collaborators and colleagues are also avoided.[3][4][5]..Usually, we often ask someone who has posted in the magazine in the past or who is named as a citation.

In some cases, the author may or may not be a peer reviewer (eg, a research competitor (eg, a research competitor).competitors) Etc.) are asked to name[5].

However, reviewers are not paid and are burdensome in terms of time, so many people dislike it.Therefore, a peer reviewer must be someone who has submitted a treatise and has an understanding of the peer review system.Also, in some fields, the number of researchers is very small, most of them are stakeholders of the author, or anonymity cannot be maintained.

Once the appropriate reviewers have been determined, the editor will send the manuscript to the reviewers along with a letter of request stating the deadline.

Peer review

The reviewer who receives the manuscript will review the content.At this time, the reviewers do not reveal who the other reviewers are, and work from a completely independent standpoint.

Eventually, questions and improvements to the treatise will be summarized and returned to the editor.At this time, it is required to give a concrete evaluation to the manuscript at the same time.In most cases, you will be asked to choose one of the following four options (eg) [8][9][10]).

You may accept the treatise as it is.
minor revision
Needs some modification.If it is corrected correctly, it may be posted.
major revision
Needs major correction.After correction by the author, it will be peer-reviewed again.Even peer review after revision may be automatically rejected when it becomes major revision.[9](Sometimes the standards are looser[8]).
Posting should be refused, and reposting with the same content is not allowed.In some cases, it may be specified whether or not to allow reposting.[4].

There are also well-known journals that classify other than the above, such as "Willing Rejection" (example: [11]).

Decision of acceptance or rejection

The editor decides whether to adopt the manuscript based on the opinions of the reviewers.Formally, the editor's authority is independent and there is no obligation to accept the reviewer's opinion, but in most cases the reviewer's evaluation is all.major revisionIf it is as follows, it will be rejected.If the evaluations are too divided among the reviewers and it is difficult to decide whether to accept or reject them, another reviewer may be selected.

In addition, if the content is excellent but does not match the content of the magazine in the field, we may recommend posting to another magazine.

Result notification

The editor tells the author whether or not to accept.

useIn the case of, the reviewer's comments are usually returned at the same time.In most cases, treatises are more or less required to be corrected.The author corrects the manuscript according to the questions and improvements presented.revise) And return it to the editor.This correction should be made with caution, as if the correction is not sufficient, it may lead to peer review again.

not adoptedIn the case of, publication refusal (reject).In this case, the reviewer's comments may not be returned.If not, the submission process for this journal ends here, and the author looks for another journal that is likely to adopt the manuscript and either resubmits or gives up.


If the editor determines that the author's corrections are sufficient, he will inform the author.Acceptance (accept).From then on, the treatise has almost the same value as published and is also a formal achievement.Printing (in press) Can be written.

Insufficient correctionIf you think that, the manuscript is not accepted and againPeer reviewIt is turned to.


The accepted manuscript will be restructured for magazine use by the editor, proofread by the author, and then published.The time from submission to publication varies greatly depending on the field, and can range from a few weeks to over a year, and depending on the magazine, it can take up to two years.On the other hand, taking advantage of the recent progress in digitization, an example featuring a quick peer review process from the perspective of breaking news.[12]Or, an example of publishing a treatise online after passing the peer review and before the final proofreading[13]Can also be seen.

For the author, I extracted only the part of my treatise and attached a simple coverReprint(Or unprinted) is handed over.Paid and free depends on the magazine.Reprints are important for researchers as they may be enclosed at the time of job hunting or job hunting, but in many cases the submission may be a copy.In recent years, PDF files of papers have been sent to authors free of charge, and reprint purchase is sometimes an option.

Various styles of peer review

Treatment of anonymity

The treatment of anonymity differs slightly depending on the field and magazine.

During peer review, authors are not informed who is reviewing their treatise.Sometimes the author is not even informed of the editor's name.

A peer review method in which the author and the reviewer do not know each other's name.LawThat is.This is to ensure that the review is not biased by the author's name (for example, when the author is very well known) (as opposed to a common reviewer knowing the author's name). If you haveSingle blind methodThere is that.Either way, the reviewer's anonymity is preserved).When conducting a double-blind peer review, the author is required to remove any references that would reveal who he is.

However, in general, double blinds are rarely adopted.This is because no matter how much the editorial department tries to maintain anonymity, it often fails.From the approach, method, description method, etc. used, it is possible to identify which group the author is, and sometimes the author, for the same research colleague.

Also, the traditional "anonymity of reviewers to authors" is gradually changing.In some academic disciplines, most journals are now asking reviewers whether to remain anonymous.The treatise sometimes includes an acknowledgment to the reviewers who pointed out improvements.

Severity of examination

The severity of peer review varies greatly from magazine to magazine.Science,NatureLeading journals such as these have very strict standards for publication, and refuse to publish in jobs that do not make you feel "breakthrough progress" in the relevant field, even if they are of scientific high quality. Will be done.on the other hand,Astro Physical JournalIn such cases, peer review is only used to rule out obvious mistakes and inadequacies.These differences in screening criteria are reflected in the percentage of submissions published, which is about 5-10% of the treatises received by Nature.[3]The Astrophysical Journal publishes 70%, while it only publishes.This difference in publication rate is also reflected in the thickness of the magazine.

In addition, the examination is somewhat strict depending on the academic field.For example, many physicists think that the value of a treatise should be left to market principles, and such a system has actually been established, such as the preprint server described later.Even in such a culture, peer review sets a high standard enough to be published.Complete mistakes have been found and the author accepts corrections and suggestions.

Even among journals published by the same academic society, the rigor of examination may differ.For example, the same Japanese journal of the Physical Society of Japan (Journal of the Physical Society of Japan)[14]Is not guaranteed peer review, but the English journal JPSJ guarantees peer review.[15].

Peer review issues

The most commonly dissatisfied with the peer-review system is that it is slow, and in some fields it can take months or years from submission to print and see the light of day.In fact, in fields such as astronomy, breaking news about new results was not published in peer-reviewed journals.arXivlike,Preprint serverPapers are registered on an electronic server called.In the field of physics, especially in the theory of high energy physics, a peer-reviewed academic journal is first submitted to a preprint server, and after discussions with experts who have responded (or at the same time) The general flow is to post to.Also famous in the field of mathematicsPoincare conjectureA paper on proof of the proof was published in the form of registration on a preprint server.With such a method, it is clear who was the first person to publish the results, and there is less risk that research data and ideas will be stolen and published in a paper while being peer-reviewed. ..In addition, since the preprint server treatises can be viewed by anyone for free, anyone can check the validity of the content, and if it is an innovative idea or result, it will be disseminated faster. Development can be accelerated as a whole.However, the preprint server is submitted to a large number of treatises every day, and it has the disadvantage that it is extremely difficult to determine which are innovative ideas and which are worth reading.

Some sociologists of science argue that in the peer-review system, elite or personal jealousy can control publication.Reviewers, consciously or unconsciously, can be very critical of conclusions that are contrary to their opinions, and on the contrary, they can give a sweet evaluation to their stakeholders.Even if peer-reviewed by a neutral reviewer, what is rejected in one journal because of insufficient discussion or incorrect points of discussion is often published in another journal. However, how to evaluate the paper is largely influenced by the reviewers.

At the same time, so-called "authoritative" scientists are more likely to be recruited as reviewers of leading magazines and publishers than less authoritative ones.Therefore, ideas in line with the elite's claims are more likely to appear in core journals than reactionary and revolutionary ones.This view isThomas Coon OfScientific revolutionConsistent with the theory.

On the other hand, others say that it is difficult to control information because there are so many academic journals that can be published.In addition, some argue that the above is not a major issue, as peer-reviewed decisions are made separately by each reviewer and do not consult with other members.However, for example, if the treatise spans multiple disciplines, or if there are not many specialists, the number of peer-reviewed specialists is very limited, resulting in a very small number. Human judgments and opinions can have a great influence.In this case, even if the article is rejected in one journal and resubmitted to another journal as described above, the same reviewer may be requested to review the article.However, the final decision is left to the circumstances of the editor and the journal, and the reviewers do not have the authority to decide whether or not to publish the treatise.Therefore, even if the same reviewer submits the same comment (whether positive or negative), it will be received differently depending on the journal.

Of course, the reviewers are also human.You may misunderstand the flow of discussion in the treatise or make a wrong decision, which will be described later.Sokal affairIn some cases, the peer review itself was not done properly.

Examples of unpeer-reviewed treatises and unpeer-reviewed journals

The peer-reviewed system is the basis of modern scientific methods, but some well-known treatises were published unpeer-reviewed.For example

  • James WatsonとFrancis clickBut,1953Announced to NatureDNAA paper on the structure of.This treatise was not peer-reviewed.John Maddox said, "Watson and Crick's treatise was not peer-reviewed by Nature. The treatise could not be reviewed. Its correctness was self-evident. He was working in the same field ("Linus Pauling(Is that?), No judge would have been silent when he saw that structure. "they said[16]..Influential physicistWilliam Lawrence BraggThe editors accepted the treatise when they received a cover letter labeled "Publishing" from.
  • Albert Einstein OfSpecial relativityとPhotoelectric effectFive amazing papers including1905 OfAnnalen der Physikmagazine(alone: Annalen der Physik).Was the editor-in-chiefMax planckFeeling the wonder of being able to publish this amazing idea, he made him publish a treatise.Einstein's treatise was never sent for peer review.The decision to publish is made by the editor-in-chief or co-editorWilhelm WienDetermined exclusively by (they laterNobel Prize in Physics(Although there is no doubt that he is qualified as a reviewer).However, at that time there was a belief that after the first publication, the author was given a great deal of discretion.According to an editorial recently published in Nature, in magazines of that era, it was the opponents rather than the supporters of the new idea who were responsible for proving.

As an example of the harmful effects of improper peer reviewSokal affairIt has been known.New York UniversityProfessor of PhysicsAlan SokalIt is,HumanitiesMagazine Social Text Magazine (British: Social Text) Posted a mischievous and meaningless treatise, but the editor of the magazine published it in the magazine.It caused a lot of controversy in academia about the qualities of postmodern magazines and the pros and cons of Sokal affairs.The magazine is said to have caused a blunder because it did not have a peer-review system, and soon after the incident, it adopted a peer-review system.[17].

Misconduct and Peer Review Limitations in Science

Peer review is the work of scientistsFabrication,PlagiarismSuch asCheating in scienceThere is no mechanism to find.Therefore, there are many cases in which fraud or error is found by other researchers after passing the peer review.

In the first placeAcademic magazineIn the peer review inpaperIs written honestly.In addition, reviewers usually refer to all the sources of the treatise.データYou do not have access to.Therefore, it is said that peer review must be carried out after trusting the morals of the author of the treatise, and as a result, fraudulent activity cannot be found.In addition, the number of articles published and citations (Impact factor) However, since it began to affect the future of researchers, is it possible to perform appropriate and accurate peer review amid the dramatic increase in the number of papers?SieveThere are also doubts about the role of (with the Alsabti case described later).Yoshitaka FujiiThe fraudulent case can be said to be an example).

It is not clear how much fraud has been discovered.

Cases of peer review limits

  • (I.e.からJordanWas studying abroad in the United StatesDoctorElias Alsabti (Elias Alsabti) IsTemple UniversityOr ...Boston UniversityIn the midst of such changes, I repeated the means of stealing a treatise published in an unnamed academic journal as it was and submitting it to another unnamed academic journal.More than 60 of the papers submitted in this way were actually published, which put a foil on Alsabti's achievements.As a result, the truth was revealed by a colleague who felt suspicious of Alsabti's skill.Alsabti was stripped of his doctor's license.[Source required]
  • Toho UniversityWas enrolled inYoshitaka FujiiPublished many papers in unnamed scholarly journals from 1991 to 2011, therebylecturerからAssociate professorI got a good job[18]However, the unnaturalness of the data used in the papers has been pointed out since 2000, and 2012 of the 212 papers published by Fujii by the Research Special Committee of the Japanese Society of Anesthesiology in 172 had fraudulent data fabrication. Announced the results of the survey.Fujii resigned from Toho University and also withdrew from the Japanese Society of Anesthesiology.
  • Of(German version)とAmerica・ Peter Hoppe in 1977MouseFrom the body cells ofCell nucleus OftransplantBycloneThe treatise that can produce living things islife sciences OfAcademic magazineRenowned ascellIt was published in the magazine.However, other experimenters did not succeed in the reproduction experiment, and whistleblowers pointed out that Ilmensee was intentionally manipulating the data, so in 1981 Geneva University published a series of studies on Ilmensee. Although it cannot be concluded that it is a forgery, serious doubts remain about its reliability. "Ilmensee then resigned from college.
  • FranceでPopular scienceThe Igor Bogdanov and Glishka Bogdanov brothers, who were the moderators of the show, were from 1991 to 2002.big BangPublished a paper on cosmology in a specialized journal (some of which had a peer-reviewed system).However, the Bogdanov brothers did not have a specialized education in physics (applied mathematics major up to the master's course), and many physicists criticized the bullshit in the content of their treatises.In the end, the brothers confessed that everything was a prank to uncover the weaknesses of the peer review system.[Needs verification](Bogdanov affair).
  • Around 2000, in the United StatesBell LabsA large-scale cheating was carried out on the stage.Was a young German researcherHendrick ShaneThe treatise on organic superconductors by is the highest ranked journal after regular peer review.Nature,ScienceA total of 16 books were published in.However, suspicions were raised because the results of the treatises could not be reproduced at all by other groups, and eventually all the treatises were withdrawn after it was found that the graph of the experimental results was forged.[Source required]
  • Yellow tin(Hwan Woo Suk)Seoul National UniversityThe professor has been peer-reviewedScienceHumans published in the magazine in 2004 and 2005 one after anotherES cellThe treatise on was later found to be a complete fabrication.The fraud was discovered not by peer review, but by whistle-blowing by a former researcher on Fan's research team and verification by young biologists on electronic bulletin boards.[Source required]

Peer Review and Software Advances

Various types of peer review are carried out in the course of various types of software development, including a formal and rigorous approach called "software inspection".Open SourceIn the movement, things like peer review began to be used in the creation and evaluation of computer software.In this context, the rationale for peer review is the same as the so-called- "if you have enough eyeballs, no bug is serious".This means that with enough reviewers, all problems can be easily solved.Eric RaymondIt is,softwareRegarding the peer review system in development, for example, "The Cathedral and the BazaarSuch asessayImpressively described in[19].


[How to use footnotes]


  1. ^ a b c Kenkyusha New English-Japanese Dictionary 6th Edition
  2. ^ Kojien 6th Edition
  3. ^ a b c d e Getting published in Nature: the editorial process, Nature
  4. ^ a b c d e f Manuscript selection
  5. ^ a b c d PNAS Submission Guidelines
  6. ^ Peer Review Commentary for ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization
  7. ^ Peer review—reject, accept, or major revision ?, The Lancet Neurology, Volume 2, Issue 9, Page 517, September 2003
  8. ^ a b Reviewer Guide, ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization
  9. ^ a b Software and Systems Modeling, Guidelines for Editors
  10. ^ IEEE Computer Society, Peer Review for Journals
  11. ^ New England Journal of Medicine, Publication Process
  12. ^ Applied Physics Express
  13. ^ Science Express
  14. ^ Regulations for submission to the journal of the Physical Society of Japan
  15. ^ Editorial Policy, Journal of the Physical Society of Japan (JPSJ)
  16. ^ John Maddox (2003). “How genius can smooth the road to publication.”. Nature 426: 119. two:10.1038 / 426119b. 
  17. ^ Guillory, John (2002) "The Sokal Affair and the History of Criticism" (Critical Inquiry, 28: 2); Ruark, Jennifer. "Anatomy of a Hoax: how a physicist hoodwinked a group of humanists, and why it still matters 20 years later." The Chronicle of Higher Education Jan 6 2017
  18. ^ Eisuke Enoki"Life Science of Lies and Despair" Bunshu Shinsho, 2014, pp.188-189
  19. ^ http://cruel.org/freeware/cathedral.html


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