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Panel Urges Balance in Peer-Review Process

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Federal agencies’ peer-review panels for education research should be composed in a way that minimizes conflicts of interest, “balances biases,” and includes participation of scholars from a wide range of disciplines, a committee of the National Research Council says in a report released last week.

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The report, "Advancing Scientific Research in Education," is available online from the National Academies Press.

The report, “Advancing Scientific Research in Education,” is the last of four meant to better define what constitutes high-quality educational research, and to promote it, in light of a federal education officials’ emphasis on scientifically based research. ("Panel Defines 'Science' of Education Research," Dec. 12, 2001.)

To help build the knowledge base in education research, the committee says in another of its recommendations, researchers should be required to share their data with other scholars as a condition of having their work published in professional journals. Journals and associations involved in education research, it says, should adopt ethical standards to support data-sharing.

Before producing its latest report, the 14-member committee held five workshops with researchers, deans of schools of education, editors of major journals, and heads of federal agencies.

Vol. 24, Issue 07, Page 28

Published in Print: October 13, 2004, as Panel Urges Balance in Peer-Review Process

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