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  • Accepted manuscript BAR-D-19-00228

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in The British Accounting Review. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in The British Accounting Review, 52, 5, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.bar.2020.100910

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.88 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 2/04/22

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Risks from self-referential peer review echo chambers developing in research fields

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Risks from self-referential peer review echo chambers developing in research fields. / Unerman, Jeffrey.

In: British Accounting Review, Vol. 52, No. 5, 100910, 01.09.2020.

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@article{9dd1c1efe00748dba644e8b16288ea67,
title = "Risks from self-referential peer review echo chambers developing in research fields",
abstract = "Denigration of academic experts and expertise, amid a resurgence of political populism, poses a challenge to the legitimacy of academic research. Addressing this challenge requires us to continually demonstrate the importance of basing policy interventions on reliable evidence, rather than unevidenced assertions that gain traction through communication echo chambers. However, unconscious confirmation biases in collection and analysis of evidence can impair the reliability of our research insights. A key source of such confirmation biases are unchallenged ideologies and other taken-for-granted assumptions underlying any research (sub)field. This essay argues that informal and formal peer review processes at many stages of research need to highlight and challenge both conscious selectivity bias and unconscious confirmation bias. However, they are unlikely to do so where researchers only take on board feedback from peers in the same (sub)field who share ideological commitments and taken-for-granted assumptions. In such circumstances, self-referential peer review echo chambers can develop that entrench rather than challenge weaknesses in a research (sub)field. This can be a major risk to the effectiveness and reputation of any academic research (sub)field; a risk we need to confront.",
keywords = "Peer review, Echo chambers, confirmation bias, research ideology",
author = "Jeffrey Unerman",
note = "This is the author{\textquoteright}s version of a work that was accepted for publication in The British Accounting Review. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in The British Accounting Review, 52, 5, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.bar.2020.100910",
year = "2020",
month = sep,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.bar.2020.100910",
language = "English",
volume = "52",
journal = "British Accounting Review",
issn = "0890-8389",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "5",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Risks from self-referential peer review echo chambers developing in research fields

AU - Unerman, Jeffrey

N1 - This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in The British Accounting Review. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in The British Accounting Review, 52, 5, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.bar.2020.100910

PY - 2020/9/1

Y1 - 2020/9/1

N2 - Denigration of academic experts and expertise, amid a resurgence of political populism, poses a challenge to the legitimacy of academic research. Addressing this challenge requires us to continually demonstrate the importance of basing policy interventions on reliable evidence, rather than unevidenced assertions that gain traction through communication echo chambers. However, unconscious confirmation biases in collection and analysis of evidence can impair the reliability of our research insights. A key source of such confirmation biases are unchallenged ideologies and other taken-for-granted assumptions underlying any research (sub)field. This essay argues that informal and formal peer review processes at many stages of research need to highlight and challenge both conscious selectivity bias and unconscious confirmation bias. However, they are unlikely to do so where researchers only take on board feedback from peers in the same (sub)field who share ideological commitments and taken-for-granted assumptions. In such circumstances, self-referential peer review echo chambers can develop that entrench rather than challenge weaknesses in a research (sub)field. This can be a major risk to the effectiveness and reputation of any academic research (sub)field; a risk we need to confront.

AB - Denigration of academic experts and expertise, amid a resurgence of political populism, poses a challenge to the legitimacy of academic research. Addressing this challenge requires us to continually demonstrate the importance of basing policy interventions on reliable evidence, rather than unevidenced assertions that gain traction through communication echo chambers. However, unconscious confirmation biases in collection and analysis of evidence can impair the reliability of our research insights. A key source of such confirmation biases are unchallenged ideologies and other taken-for-granted assumptions underlying any research (sub)field. This essay argues that informal and formal peer review processes at many stages of research need to highlight and challenge both conscious selectivity bias and unconscious confirmation bias. However, they are unlikely to do so where researchers only take on board feedback from peers in the same (sub)field who share ideological commitments and taken-for-granted assumptions. In such circumstances, self-referential peer review echo chambers can develop that entrench rather than challenge weaknesses in a research (sub)field. This can be a major risk to the effectiveness and reputation of any academic research (sub)field; a risk we need to confront.

KW - Peer review

KW - Echo chambers

KW - confirmation bias

KW - research ideology

U2 - 10.1016/j.bar.2020.100910

DO - 10.1016/j.bar.2020.100910

M3 - Journal article

VL - 52

JO - British Accounting Review

JF - British Accounting Review

SN - 0890-8389

IS - 5

M1 - 100910

ER -