Hui FangSchool of Electronic Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China

Search for other papers by Hui Fang in
Current site
Google Scholar
Restricted access


The aim of peer review is to separate the wheat from the chaff for publication and research funding. In the excessive competition, this mechanism would only select the wheat of mainstream. Up to now, almost all discussions on the consequence of the short-comings of peer review are limited to qualitatively description. I propose a model of “peer-group-assessed-grant-based-funding-system” combined with tenure system and over-competitive research funding review process. It is the first on the quantitatively investigation which dramatizes the current short-comings of the process. My simulation shows that it takes about two or three generations of researchers for the mainstream of a complicated research topic obtaining monopoly supremacy, with only the aid of the mechanism the model described. Based on the computation results, suggestions are proposed to avoid loss of self-correction capability on popularity determined single research direction which could be wrong on very complicated research topics.

  • Alberts, B, Hanson, B, Kelner, KL 2008 Reviewing peer review. Science 321:15 .

  • Berezin, AA 2001 Discouragement of innovation by overcompetitive research funding. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 26:97102.

  • Claveria, LE, Guallar, E, Cami, J, Conde, J, Pastor, R, Ricoy, JR, Rodriguez-Farre, E, Ruiz-Palomo, F, Munoz, E 2000 Does peer review predict the performance of research projects in health sciences?. Scientometrics 47:1123 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grivell, L 2006 Through a glass darkly—the present and the future of editorial peer review. EMBO Reports 7:567570 .

  • Gura, T 2002 Peer review, unmasked. Nature 416:258260 .

  • Horrobin, DF 1996 Peer review of grant applications: A harbinger of mediocrity in clinical research. Lancet 348:12931295 .

  • Jayasinghe, UW, Marsh, HW, Bond, N 2001 Peer review in the funding of research in higher education: The Australian experience. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 23:343364 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lawrence, PA 2003 The politics of publication. Nature 422:259261 .

  • Lerner, E 2004 Bucking the big bang. New Scientist 2448:20.

  • Neylon, C 2009 Funding ban could break careers at the toss of a coin. Nature 459:641 .

  • Perrin, WF 2008 In search of peer reviewers. Science 319:32 .

  • Plerou, V, Amaral, LAN, Gopikrishnan, P, Meyer, M, Stanley, HE 1999 Similarities between the growth dynamics of university research and of competitive economic activities. Nature 400:433437 .

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rocha, B 2001 Trouble with peer review. Nature Immunology 2:277 .

  • Scarpa, T 2006 Peer review at NIH. Science 311:41 .

  • Smith, R 1997 Peer review: Reform or revolution?. British Medical Journal 315:759760.

  • Spier, RE 2002 The history of the peer-review process. Trends in Biotechnology 20:357358 .

  • Spier, RE 2002 Peer review and innovation. Science and Engineering Ethics 8:99108 .

  • Spier, RE, Bird, SJ 2003 On the management of funding of research in science and engineering. Science and Engineering Ethics 9:298300 .

  • Zucker, RS 2008 A peer review how-to. Science 319:32 .

  • Collapse
  • Expand

To see the editorial board, please visit the website of Springer Nature.

Manuscript submission:

For subscription options, please visit the website of Springer Nature.

Language English
Size B5
Year of
per Year
per Year
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
CH-6330 Cham, Switzerland Gewerbestrasse 11.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0138-9130 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2861 (Online)