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Posts from April 2010

Peer Reviewing Peer Review

Sunday, April 25th, 2010 5:12p.m.

“Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Winston Churchill, 1947

I just received an e-mail inviting me to participate in the Second Annual International Symposium on Peer Review that seeks to examine the application -- and perceived failure -- of peer review in a scientific context. The aim of the conference is certainly a worthy goal, and I applaud the effort; however, it brings up the conundrum of how one goes about peer reviewing materials for a conference on peer-review that takes as its premise that the peer-review system is flawed. So flawed, in fact, that the letter opens with the quote "only 8% agreed that 'peer review works well as it is'." (Chubin and Hackett, 1990; p.192).

  tags: peer-review, research-process category: Academe

My Favorite Conference

Monday, April 19th, 2010 1:49a.m.

I got back from the PAA meetings in Dallas today. I really think that PAA is an incredible organization, even down to the way that they plan and execute the meetings. For example, I think that the submission process is incredibly smooth and the papers on the panels tend to speak very well to one another. Even down to the fact that the organization developed an iPhone app (and a Kindle app) that made navigating the meeting tremendously easy (I believe that Germán Rodríguez deserves the credit for the development of the submission website and the iPhone app -- kudos to him!). Beyond the execution, however, the actual meeting is always interesting in the papers that are presented and the people who come. It was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones while down there.

  tags: immigration, neighborhood-effects, PAA category: Conferences

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