Pro bono, pro and con

June 5, 2008

At the risk of telling Cambridge Economic Policy Associates their business, they seem to have misrepresented the economic character of peer review, albeit in a way that caters to academic grievances against publishers ("Unpaid peer review is worth £1.9bn", 29 May).

We academics may not be paid for reviewing journal submissions, but then we are also the main beneficiaries of a process on which the legitimacy of our entire enterprise depends. This is not an argument for publishers paying academics for their services but for universities raising academic salaries, since we are effectively forced to pay out of pocket to certify each other's work.

Steve Fuller, Professor of sociology, University of Warwick.

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