The aim of the project is to identify field-specific practices of peer review and to explain field-specific mechanisms of quality assessment. Case studies in six research fields are planned in order to explore the relationship between field-specific assessment practices and the corresponding everyday research practices. Understanding these discipline-specific mechanisms is essential for designing peer review processes. In order to overcome the limitations of traditional forms to study peer review the project will combine three methodological approaches:
First, it focuses on scientists and their participation in many different peer review processes including both formal peer review processes and everyday internal evaluation processes. Secondly, scientists will be interviewed about their experiences as reviewers. Thirdly, different forms of observations will be carried out, including the observation of decision-making in grant panels and conference discussions.
By identifying the link between field-specific practices of peer review and field-specific research practices, the suitability of different formal peer review procedures for discipline-specific practices will be analysed.