"The Promise of Peer Review" Event Examines Quality Control in Scholarly Publishing
NEW YORK, September 14, 2010 –

In today's networked digital environment, is the peer review system the best way to recognize quality research and scholarship? On Wednesday, September 29, 2010, featured speaker Dr. Vivian Siegel, Research Professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University, will help us find out. Columbia University faculty members will respond. There will also be the opportunity for questions and comments from the audience. It will take place at 12:30 PM at Alfred Lerner Hall, Room 555, on Columbia University's Morningside Campus. Refreshments will be served.

Scholars have come to rely on peer review to ensure that the research they publish is valid—that the conclusions are justified by the data and that the ideas presented are new and important. However, peer review requires unbiased experts—people in the same field as the author who can support the publication of research that meets these criteria. Is there really such a thing as an unbiased expert? Does peer review need fixing? And if so, how should changes to the system be evaluated?

Dr. Siegel directs the Center for Science Communication at Vanderbilt University. She has been the editor of the scholarly journals Cell and Developmental Cell, was the Founding Executive Director of the Public Library of Science (PLoS), and was one of the launch editors of PLoS Biology.

Co-sponsored by the Scholarly Communication Program and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, this event is free and open to the public. It is the first of six events this academic year in a speaker series organized by the Scholarly Communication Program. Join us on October 18 for "Radical Open Access in the Humanities" with Open Humanities Press cofounder Gary Hall and on November 9 for Columbia University Professor of Religion Mark Taylor's discussion of his forthcoming book Crisis on Campus. Follow the series remotely via Twitter at http://twitter.com/ScholarlyComm. Video will be distributed through the Program's website and Columbia University's iTunesU page, as well as on YouTube. For information on the series, Research without Borders: The Changing World of Scholarly Communication, please email Kathryn Pope at kp2002@columbia.edu, or visit http://scholcomm.columbia.edu/events.

The Scholarly Communication Program explores effective uses of digital technology for sharing new knowledge. The Program, based at the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) within Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, highlights innovative approaches to communicating scholarly work and examines related debates over policy and practice, particularly in the context of global research.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.  

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at Columbia University is one of the country's oldest and most distinguished graduate schools. The GSAS seeks excellence in the training of graduate students for careers in and outside academia. It promotes the integration of graduate students into the research and educational enterprises of Columbia, oversees the quality of graduate education in the Arts and Sciences, and nurtures the diversity and intellectual collegiality of its programs.

9/14/10 NB