Archive for the ‘Research’ Category


Quality & Peer Review. Again.

March 10, 2011

The House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee are holding an inquiry into Peer Review.

Like previous investigations, they focus on peer review as a vehicle for quality assurance and scientific discourse, rather than starting with what they want and working backwards. As peer review occurs after the work has been done, it simply cannot be used to assure quality of the work – although it may be used to assure quality of the published paper

Instead the government could develop the quality controls already being introduced by academic institutions, and use these to assure the quality we would like to see in studies used to inform policy.

Today I submitted a short paper to the inquiry saying this in more detail:


(Word doc, about 3 pages in large type, with a few minor language corrections from the submitted document)


An Evidence Based Approach to Scoping Reviews

February 24, 2011

“My” second paper (An Evidence Based Approach to Scoping Reviews, published in the Electronic Journal for Information Systems Evaluation) grew from a requirement I made of a PhD student I was the industrial mentor for, when I still wore a commercial hat. Essentially I wanted a more structured approach to the apparently haphazard review of existing work, so that I (as commercial customer) could be confident about what concepts were already available.

When I left that company I lost track of the work, and only recently reconnected when I started at Cranfield. In the meantime it had lost direction, mostly because trying to inspect how you do something while you do it tends to get in the way of the work (not a new problem).

The paper as initially submitted to ECIME was made of three poorly connected pieces of work, and written by a foreign student whose English wasn’t all that good, much sympathy for him. I re-edited it, ran some exercises to fill in some examples, and added some pieces from my initial comments when the work first started, so I got to be the last author.

There’s a lot more that still needs to be done in this field. It’s on my list of things to do…