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Thematic Guide to Integrated Assessment Modeling



Peer review

Clark and Majone (1985) argue that the practice of peer review in scientific areas with policy implications is difficult. This is true in many interdisciplinary areas, including integrated assessment, due to:

Lack of precedents: Scientific criticism is often based on precedent and the historical record of research. In the case of integrated assessment, there is little, if anything to go by. Lack of a community: Not only is the IA community relatively new, but it is also quite fragmented. This is partly due to the range of disciplinary backgrounds of the practitioners, and also due to the nature of the problem. As a result, there is not much opportunity to develop shared criteria or a collective wisdom. Lack of diversity: Furthermore, the lack of a community leads to lack of diversity in peer review, a situation that is antithetical to interdisciplinary nature of IA. The lack of diversity can be a serious problem given the source feeder nature of IA because it can reinforce ``conventional'' wisdom among disciplinary practitioners and at the same time lead to the rejection of important ideas from disciplines outside the source. This highlights the fundamental tension between precedent and innovation of peer review in interdisciplinary ventures. Breadth of material: IA research covers such a wide range of issues that it is difficult to expect reviewers to be au fait with all the tools and disciplines that underly IA model results. This problem is even more acute when IA results are assessed by specialist reviewers in outside disciplines. This points to a possible need to redefine the peer review process, perhaps incorporating both integrated and disciplinary reviewers.





Parson, E.A. and K. Fisher-Vanden, Searching for Integrated Assessment: A Preliminary Investigation of Methods, Models, and Projects in the Integrated Assessment of Global Climatic Change. Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). University Center, Mich. 1995.


Suggested Citation

Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). 1995. Thematic Guide to Integrated Assessment Modeling of Climate Change [online]. Palisades, NY: CIESIN. Available at [accessed DATE].



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