Just got a mail regarding a Peer Review Symposium (!).
It had an interesting intro...
As you know, only 8% members of the Scientific Research Society agreed that 'peer review works well as it is.' (Chubin and Hackett, 1990; p.192)
"A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision and an analysis of the peer review system substantiate complaints about this fundamental aspect of scientific research." (Horrobin, 2001)
Horrobin concludes that peer review "is a non-validated charade whose processes generate results little better than does chance." (Horrobin, 2001) This has been statistically proven and reported by an increasing number of journal editors.
But, "Peer Review is one of the sacred pillars of the scientific edifice" (Goodstein, 2000), it is a necessary condition in quality assurance for Scientific/Engineering publications, and "Peer Review is central to the organization of modern science…why not apply scientific [and engineering] methods to the peer review process" (Horrobin, 2001).
This is the purpose of The 2nd International Symposium on Peer Reviewing: ISPR 2010 (http://www.sysconfer.org/ispr) being organized in the context of The SUMMER 4th International Conference on Knowledge Generation, Communication and Management: KGCM 2010 (http://www.sysconfer.org/kgcm), which will be held on June 29th - July 2nd, in Orlando, Florida, USA.
Chubin, D. R. and Hackett E. J., 1990, Peerless Science, Peer Review and U.S. Science Policy; New York, State University of New York Press.
Horrobin, D., 2001, "Something Rotten at the Core of Science?" Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Vol. 22, No. 2, February 2001. Also at http://www.whale.to/vaccine/sci.html and http://post.queensu.ca/~forsdyke/peerrev4.htm (both Web pages were accessed on February 1, 2010)
Goodstein, D., 2000, "How Science Works", U.S. Federal Judiciary Reference Manual on Evidence, pp. 66-72 (referenced in Hoorobin, 2000)