Oliver Kirchkamp

Quality control

A main purpose of the review process is to ensure quality of publications. Thus, reviewers must have the possibility to control the quality of submitted papers. Quality control includes issues like the following: It might be possible that reading the body of a paper is sufficient to answer the above question. Other questions are also relevant and might require more:

When, in a theoretical paper, an authors claims that he or she has proven a new theorem, we obviously demand a proof. If the reader does not trust the theorem, the reader can go through the details of the proof and either find a mistake or be convinced. Proofs are usually included in the paper or in an appendix to the paper.

When, in a literature review, an author puts the own research into the context of research by other people, again we demand proof, now as a reference to the literature. If the reader does not trust the author's words, all the reader has to do is go to the library and check whether the author's interpretation of the literature is appropriate.

When, in the empirical part of a paper, an author claims that the data shows a certain pattern, the reader should have the possibility to check whether the conclusions which are drawn by the authors are really warranted. I think that it is not sufficient to rely on the claim that the author has observed some data, prepared the data, applied a method and then gets some results when only these results are available to the reader.

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