Peer Review

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Peer review is a process of subjecting an author's work, research or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field. The peer review process aims to make authors meet the standards of their discipline.

Construction documents that have not undergone peer review are likely to be regarded with suspicion by professionals in many fields. Even refereed documents, however, can contain errors.

We review documents that are prepared for publication, and in some instances are published, and are responsible for commentary to the effect of suggesting, or advising, the author, although the authors are always responsible for the content of each piece of work.

A common rationale for peer review is that it is rare for an individual author or research team to spot every mistake or flaw in a complicated piece of work. This is not because deficiencies are difficult to locate, but because with a new and perhaps eclectic subject, an opportunity for improvement may be more obvious to someone with special expertise or experience. Therefore, showing work to others increases the probability that weaknesses will be identified, and, with advice and encouragement, fixed.

Reviewers are typically independent, to help foster unvarnished criticism. In addition, since reviewers are normally selected from experts in the fields, the process of peer review is considered critical to establishing a reliable body of research and knowledge. Reviewers reading the documents can only be expert in a limited area; they rely, to some degree, on the peer-review process to provide reliable and credible research that they can build upon for subsequent or related work.