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When randomness is intrinsic, formalize it

De Peuter, Steven (2021) When randomness is intrinsic, formalize it. [Preprint]

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Competition for research funds has, in the recent decade, become hypercompetitive. Commonly, to determine which proposals receive funding, a system of peer review is used, which is broadly accepted, easily understood and broadly trusted among researchers. It is often considered the best system in use, but it suffers from important shortcomings and adaptations to overcome these shortcomings have small and often short-lived effects. Hence, the preference for peer review does not mean it necessarily outperforms all other systems. In fact, it is time for an open discussion about alternative allocation mechanisms. Random allocation of research funding may be a viable alternative to the current peer review system. In particular the “organized randomness” of a modified lottery is interesting, combining the benefits of randomization with some of the most valuable aspects of peer review. Still, many questions remain and this is certainly not a plea to allocate all research funds using lotteries without further research. But we need to be prepared to consider alternatives, even though they are not perfect, and modified lotteries should be part of the solution.

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Item Type: Preprint
De Peuter, Stevensteven.depeuter@kuleuven.be0000-0003-4137-4431
Keywords: Grant peer review, lottery, randomness, research funding, research integrity
Subjects: General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Science and Policy
Depositing User: Dr. Steven De Peuter
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2021 17:02
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2021 17:02
Item ID: 18779
Subjects: General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Science and Policy
Date: 2021

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