Wikiversity:Peer review

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Peer review (known as refereeing in some academic fields) is a process of subjecting an author's scholarly work or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the field. It is done for quality assurance and elimination of incorrect information. This is applicable both to strict original research in the sense of e.g. lab studies or clinical trials, as well as original synthesis, such as systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

A peer reviewed article may be edited after peer review, and increased changes to the article may cause an increased need to repeat a peer review.

Internal peer review from formally trusted Wikiversity members[edit]

Formal peer review involves a formal system of critical review of the original research result(s). The results of the formal critical review are permanently linked to the original research results and serve as a stamp of validation or a stamp of rejection. Any peer review process is only as good as the reviewers.

See Finding peer reviewer-section below for more information about what peer reviewer to choose.

After completed peer review, the tag {{Peer reviewed|URL of peer review statement}} can be added to the page of the scientific text.

External peer review[edit]

External peer review of works in Wikiversity can undergo peer review such as in the following procedure:

  1. One or more peer reviewers are asked to perform a peer review of the work. Presentation of the work can consist of adding scientific text to a Wikiversity page. (Example article: Uppsala teaspoon study), or sending the work confidentially to the peer reviewer and adding it to a Wikiversity page after the peer review is done. The peer reviewer(s) should:
    • have public contact information (or be willing to be contacted by a Wikimedia volunteer by peer review verification)
    • have the expertise in the subject to be able to analyze the work for quality assurance. For simple works a primary school teacher can possibly be an appropriate peer reviewer, while a professor in the subject may be needed for complex works.
    • preferably be able to inspect how the testing and result-gathering is carried out in person if the work involves real life testing rather than merely intellectual processing of Internet-accessible material.
    • not have conflicts of interests that could substantially affect the judgment in performing the peer review.

      See also: Finding peer reviewer-section below

  2. The template {{Under peer review}} is temporarily added to the Wikiversity page until peer review has been performed (Example edit). This is not applicable to works sent confidentially to the peer reviewer and added to a Wikiversity page afterwards.
  3. Once peer review has been performed, the peer reviewer(s) writes a "peer review statement" (also called "peer review certification"; example), which should include the following:
    • A link to the page in Wikiversity
    • Date of peer review (or last date of peer review period)
    • A disclosure of conflicts of interests. For example, if the author pays the peer reviewer directly, the peer review statement should include "Conflicts of interest: The author payed the peer reviewer directly for the service".
    • A statement of how well the peer reviewer(s) considers the method and interpretation of the results to properly support the conclusion of the study.
    • A licensing statement that allows usage in Wikiversity, such as "This text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License" at the bottom.
  4. The peer review statement is uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. (Example of a peer review statement)
  5. The tag {{Peer reviewed|URL of peer review statement}} is added to the page of the scientific text instead of the {{Under peer review}} template. Example of tag:
{{Peer reviewed|https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peer_review_certification_of_2012_Uppsala_teaspoon_study.jpg}}

Works that have undergone external peer review can undergo peer review verification for further quality assurance. See Wikiversity:Peer review verification for more information on this matter.

Finding peer reviewer[edit]

There are several alternatives in finding a peer reviewer:

  • If the article is medical research, a peer review can be arranged and performed for free if the following criteria are met:
  • The results and/or discussion of the article can be regarded to be of benefit to a Wikipedia article.
  • The article is not already published in a peer reviewed forum.
For peer review requests of medical research articles fulfilling these criteria, please contact the coordinator Mikael Häggström (link to email page). This also avails for sending the work confidentially, keeping it unpublished (in contrast to writing it in a Wikiversity page directly) in case there is interest to publish it in another forum or journal if the request is denied in Wikiversity. Assistance and/or mentoring in summarizing the work in Wikipedia can also be offered.
  • For other subjects, it can be attempted to ask for peer review at the talk page of the most subject-specific Wikiversity school category, but an answer is far from guaranteed.
  • Organizations that can perform external peer review for a fee include Rubriq and Enago.
  • External peer review can also be performed by directly contacting freelance peer reviewers, such as can be found at:

Usage in Wikiversity Journal[edit]

Peer reviewed works may be eligible for inclusion in Wikiversity Journal. After completed peer review, a request for inclusion can be made at the talk page of Wikiversity Journal, or (if being bold) an addition of the article can be made directly in the journal.

Usage as a reference in Wikipedia[edit]

As given at the Page in Wikipedia about using a Wikiversity page as reference there (See also discussions: here and here), it is generally not advisable. After all, inclusion of any peer reviewed text in Wikiversity does not automatically justify using it as a reference for a statement in Wikipedia, partly because of slightly different criteria for inclusion, with Wikiversity emphasizing verifiability (see Wikiversity:Verifiability) and Wikipedia to larger extent emphasizing notability (see Wikipedia:Notability). Furthermore, initial inclusion of a statement in Wikipedia using a peer reviewed Wikiversity page as a reference does not guarantee long term inclusion, since the final test is time, with accumulating numbers of readers that critically judge the appropriateness of text inclusion. In conclusion, allowance of using any individual peer reviewed article from Wikiversity as a purportedly reliable source in Wikipedia is eventually up to the Wikipedia community to decide.

See also[edit]