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Strengthening Peer Review in Federal Agencies that Support Education Research

Abstract

Peer review is a method used to inform decision making by engaging experts in a critical evaluation of the merits of a product or proposal. It is most commonly known as a mechanism for judging the quality of proposals for research funding, or manuscripts submitted for publication in academic journals.

The focus of this report is on peer review as it is applied to the evaluation of proposals for federal funding of education research projects... A long-standing tool of science policy in the United States, peer review is widely recognized as the preferred method for judging the merits of proposals for research funding. Across the federal government, it is used in a variety of contexts and for a variety of purposes-- both scientific and political in nature. It is at once a tool with which scientific judgment is formalized and decisions about the allocation of scarce public resources are legitimized.

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