Peer Preview

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Donald W Braben (University College London):

"Since about 1970, the practice of giving modest funds to tenured academics as of right has virtually disappeared. Now, for the first time in science’s long history, researchers have little alternative but to submit their proposals in writing to an appropriate agency. The agency then subjects them to third-party assessments of quality, relevance, and potential deliverables from which it selects the best. This process is also called peer review. It should, of course, have been given another name. I have suggested peer preview23 but whatever its name, it is arguably more important than the processes applied to completed work. Without peer-review - peer-preview - approval, there are no new projects, and the issue of peer review – the old sort – does not arise." (


This is a reply to:

Grazia Ietto-Gillies, “A XXI-century Alternative to XX-century Peer Review”, issue no. 45, 15 March 2008, pp. 10-22,