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NDT.net Issue - 2019-09 - NEWS
NDT.net Issue: 2019-09
Publication: e-Journal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) ISSN 1435-4934 (NDT.net Journal)
NEWS

Editorial: Ed Ginzel about "Peer Review"

Edward Ginzel101
Materials Research Institute104, Waterloo, Canada

Ed Ginzel from NDT.net's editor advisory board expressed his opinion on "Peer Review".

The concept of a peer reviewed paper seems to have a much different reality today than it did years ago. Peer review used to imply that a paper, after being suitably vetted by internal peers, was reviewed by external peers (typically 2 or moe) to ensure grammatical correctness, technical accuracy and compliance with the publisher’s protocols. One of the long-standing hardcopy publications that I considered well reviewed in NDE is the “Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation”. But more recently we find published proceedings of other conference papers that were putatively “peer reviewed” that are clearly lacking in quality. A proper peer review requires a lot of time and multiple reviewers. On occasion, I have been requested to review papers by publishers. The process is tedious. Even just the grammatical items identified in many papers would merit 50% being returned to the authors for correction. Many had not followed the publisher’s editorial guidelines for references. Some have figures missing or incorrectly numbered. Others had not included suitable rationale to illustrate findings. And of course some had technical inaccuracies. When all was said and done, I would spend 4-6 hours on the review and reporting to the publisher. In the academic world, this was expected to be done for free.

Now I read that some companies are offering “Peer Review” services to large conferences. Having read what now passes as peer reviewed NDT papers, I would suggest that it is a peer review DIS-service. It would appear that some societies are happy to pay for a rubber-stamp review to better promote their conference.

If a TRUE peer review was done on the papers of these conferences, it would take many experts from the various NDT methods and many thousands of man-hours with lengthy back and forth corrections from the authors, or simply more that 50% of the papers would not be published because they could not achieve the basic level of quality required. The costs to the conference for a quality peer review of a few hundred papers would be prohibitive and would result in very few papers being published.”

Ed Ginzel
Member of the Editor Advisory Board

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