SIGMETRICS Digest - 21 Oct 2008 to 22 Oct 2008 (#2008-217)

David Watkins David.Watkins at SOLENT.AC.UK
Thu Oct 23 05:43:13 EDT 2008

RE: Study on peer review of grant applications by Dr. Lutz Bornmann

Surely it should be no surprise that people selected for prestigious
fellowships 'perform' better. The direct resources and status accruing will
assit them in both in actively researching and in acheiving publication.
The psychological impact will also be positive.

Isn't this just a further example of the 'Matthew Effect' rather than a
test of the effectivenes of committee peer review? The surprise is that
some of those selected STILL don't get the flying start one might
anticipate. That might seem to indicate that the process is rewarding some
very weak candidates.

I've only seen the Abstract in the Listserv so far. Presumably these issues
are discussed in the paper itself.

Best wishes

David Watkins
Professor and Chair, Postgraduate Research Centre
Southampton Solent University, UK

david.watkins at

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