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Chart the Evidence Instead of Peer-Review

Alex O Holcombe and Hal Pashler, co-developers of Chart the Evidence, believe instead of peer-review, we should create evidence charts just like that:

This free site leads students to glean evidence from the research literature, articulate theories, and consider whether each piece of evidence supports or undermines each theory.

See a toy example chart or read about evidence-charting in our blog.

Working scientists find the site useful for quickly creating a compact representation of the evidence for and against competing hypotheses.

I have to admit, it’s not a bad idea. I’m sure the majority of scientists is sick of peer-review, partly because it’s anonimous in most cases, and also because it doesn’t always help improve the manuscript. But the research communities would clearly benefit from such evidence charts. I’m curious to see what the editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals have to say on this.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. alexholcombe #

    Glad to see you think the evidencecharting (available at can be useful.

    Just a clarification- we aren’t proposing they be used “instead of peer-review”, but rather as a general supplement for the scientific literature. We think that science needs more alternatives to the traditional prose format for communication.

    You may be onto something yourself with the idea of making reviews outside the peer-review system, but we’re actually hoping to get evidence charts themselves peer-reviewed, on occasion.

    September 10, 2010
  2. I must admit that I just spent a large amount of time playing around in the site, I was about to ask why it isn’t more populated but then realized it was just recently posted.
    I will like to see where this will advance to in a couple of months.

    September 14, 2010
  3. alexholcombe #

    Yes, and in case it wasn’t clear. You can only see a chart if the user has chosen to make it public. So there are a lot of charts in there, but you can’t see them..!
    Any feedback will be appreciated

    September 15, 2010
  4. What’s this about?

    March 2, 2011

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