Committee commended

August 4, 2011

The British Sociological Association (BSA) and the Council of Heads and Professors of Sociology welcome the Commons Science and Technology Committee's report on peer review.

We are pleased that it endorses the strengths of peer review in ensuring the quality of research and scholarship, and that it recognises that it takes place in a wider context of review and assessment that includes the review of research proposals and pre- and post-publication review. We welcome the idea that new technologies and new social media facilitate innovative practices of review, but that these should be thought of as complementary to, rather than replacements for, the main features of the current system.

We also welcome the recommendation that there should be training in undertaking peer review for PhD students and early- career researchers. For its part, the BSA provides training for new reviewers for its own journals. We endorse the committee's concern that journal impact factors should not be used as proxies for quality in the assessment of research excellence.

Finally, we strongly endorse the committee's concerns about the absence of a regulatory body to ensure research integrity, and we believe this is not a matter that should be left as the sole responsibility of employers because of the possible conflict between transparency and "corporate" interests.

Judith Burnett, chair, Council of the British Sociological Association; John Holmwood, chair, Council of Heads and Professors of Sociology

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

Cricket player and umpire exchanging bribe

The need to accommodate foreign students undermines domestic practices, says Lincoln Allison, spying parallels between UK universities and global sports bodies such as Fifa