Halo Effect in Peer Review: Exploring the Possibility of Bias Associated with the Feeling of Belonging to a Group
Palavras-chave:halo effect, reviewer, peer review, public servant, scientific article
ResumoIn this study, we explore the possibility of bias in the article evaluation process during peer review, due to homogeneous groups of reviewers, most of whom belong to the same professional field. The conditions of the context of journals considered for the manifestation of bias are: a) articles written in a regional language other than English, which restricts the group of reviewers; b) specific theme, which requires reviewers who specialize in the theme and predominantly belong to the same professional group; and c) publication of articles associated with the interests of the professional group to which the reviewers belong. Our proposition is that under these conditions, articles containing messages in keeping with the concerns and demands of the group to which the reviewers belong, could be viewed more favorably reviewers, thereby benefiting from the halo effect. We use the case study as a research strategy, identifying of a journal that meets the described conditions of context. Content analysis techniques were applied to the texts of articles pertaining to the research context. The analyses indicate that the interests of professional groups can prevail over scientific interests, demonstrating the need to manage and control the necessary heterogeneity of the group of reviewers.
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