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Journal Articles; Reports - Research
This study empirically addresses the claim made by Gibbons et al ("The new production of knowledge: The dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies." Sage, Thousand Oaks, 1994) that a novel form of quality control (associated with Mode 2 knowledge production) is supplementing the "traditional" peer-review process (associated with Mode 1 knowledge production). A qualitative design was used to explore faculty members' views on the criteria for assessing scientific research. Ninety-four semi-structured interviews were conducted with biomedical scientists, clinical scientists, and social scientists working in Canadian universities. Results show that the vast majority of participants are aligned with the "traditional" Mode 1 peer-reviewed procedures for assessing research and defining scientific excellence. These participants asserted that peer review is the best quality control mechanism for assessing scientific research, and peer recognition the key attribute for legitimacy in the academic arena. In contrast, participants ascribed a low value to non-academics' judgment of their work. While the study findings do not provide support Gibbons et al.'s claim, they add to a growing body of evidence that supports the continuing importance of peer review in academic career success.