Peer-Review Works, of Course

Grant applications that are ranked more highly by peer reviewers go on to yield more patents and highly cited papers, an analysis of more than 130,000 funded grants finds… the connection holds even when controlling for other factors that might explain the link, such as whether highly rated applicants were already big names in their field. This suggests that peer reviewers do not just rate well-known scientists more highly…, but also ‘add value’ by giving higher scores to better ideas.

“This doesn’t say that bad luck and dumb reviewers never happen, but it does say the reviewers are making meaningful decisions,”

Li says that the results show that human peer review does seem to generate insight about the future prospects of grant proposals…

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