By LIsa Towne Lauress L. Wise Tina M. Winters
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Additional info for Advancing Scientific Research In Education
Peer review, for example, is a concept that is featured in the definitions of “scientifically based research” in both the No Child Left Behind Act and the Education Sciences Reform Act and of course, a longstanding practice in many scholarly fields to promote high-quality reseach. Two of our workshops therefore focused on the role of peer review: one focused on peer review as it is used in federal agencies to vet proposals for research funding, and one included discussion of the review of manuscripts submitted to journals for publication.
In these cases, the concerns we outline do not apply. Our focus here is on those practitioners and community members who do not bring this expertise to peer review deliberations. PROMOTING QUALITY 29 in the early stages of developing scientific norms for peer review, this important process could be complicated or slowed by the participation of individuals who do not have a background in research. We do see the potential benefits of including practitioners and community members on panels that are evaluating education research funding applications, identifying high-quality proposals, and contributing to professional development opportunities for researchers, practitioners, and community members alike.
They are likely to be different from those used in the peer review of proposals because the products (manuscripts rather than proposals) are different. To some degree, standards will vary because each journal has its own niche in the scholarly community. A roundtable of editors and other participants in manuscript review and publication featured at one of the workshops made this clear: some journals are primarily theory-based; others exclusively empirical. Some are archival; others publish syntheses of related work over a period of time.