An International Comparison of Educational Research Review Mechanisms

Chiou-Rong Wang Yang, Huei Lan Wang


This paper explores the current status of educational research review mechanisms, assessment and ethical mechanisms in the UK, USA, Germany, France and Australia, and assesses the merits and shortcomings of the mechanisms and ways in which to improve them in those countries. This exploration is based on the perspective of comparative education and the concept of the academic tribe of T. Becher to assess peer review mechanisms. The research results include, first, the peer review system that was gradually developed in the UK, USA, France and Germany in the 1950s, which became a common mechanism for academic gatekeeping of the quality of educational research. Second, to ensure academic excellence, peer reviewers are required to be fair, professional, and specialized in a variety of “procedural justice” designs. Third, anonymous or not, peer review depends on the subcultures of different countries or academic communities. In the UK and USA, the process tends to be more transparent, and authors can suggest potential reviewers; however, this is not the case in Germany and France. Fourth, for the purpose of improving malpractice in terms of ethics and reliability in peer review, the professional qualifications of reviewers should be evaluated regularly. Finally, the outcome of the comparative study may be used as a reference for improvement of review mechanisms for educational research in Taiwan.

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