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Peer Reviewing Interdisciplinary Papers

  • Marco Pautasso (a1) and Cesare Pautasso (a2)

Interdisciplinary research is becoming more frequent because many contemporary issues can only be successfully addressed by integrating different perspectives. One general feature of the various scientific fields is peer review, i.e. the assessment and improvement of submissions to journals, conferences and workshops. Whilst there exist guidelines for the peer review of mono-disciplinary articles and empirical studies of how interdisciplinary research proposals are assessed, there is still a need for a summary of issues specific to the peer review of interdisciplinary research papers. This article provides an overview of relevant questions such as whether reviewers are competent to assess interdisciplinary papers even if unfamiliar with all the involved fields. We discuss the assessment of the interdisciplinarity, soundness, novelty, influence and general interest of interdisciplinary manuscripts. Further issues include the appropriateness of interdisciplinary submissions for journals, keeping the vocabulary of new interdisciplinary fields understandable to the reader and balancing the references across various fields. Constructive interdisciplinary reviewers are likely to be just as open-minded as interdisciplinary scientists and should be rewarded more than they currently are.

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European Review
  • ISSN: 1062-7987
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