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Peer review is not about checking people's arithmetic. In fact, in order to do that, one would need their raw data, their tabulated data, and an exact copy of all the software. We reviewers have to assume that when someone sez: we colleced X data and applied Y analysis to test Hypotesis Z using stats package R, that they did so correctly.

Peer review assesses the appropriateness of the data collected and the method of collection as reported, the validity of the statistical analysis as a test of the hypothesis, and checks that the discussion and conclusions actually follow logically from the results reported. Some reviewers will do some mental assessments of the tabular or summar statistics reported and may flag apparent anomolies for revisions or further explanation.

But the suggestion that we "check their calculations" is absurd beyond any possible practice in any discipline except perhaps in mathematics.

by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2009 at 10:23:04 AM EST
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