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The Wisdom of Crowds: Transforming the Peer-Review Process

Sun, May 24, 10:30 to 11:45, Caribe Hilton, San Geronimo Ballroom C


Abstract: A spate of recent scandals involving data falsification in multiple disciplines has led to several articles in prominent journals being retracted. For communication scholars, the most damning indictments have occurred in social psychology, especially in the realm of priming, with distinguished scholars such as Daniel Kahneman calling for radical changes. While investigations have revealed issues with data falsification and abuse, they also shed light on an equally important—albeit less scrutinized—issue: these manuscripts were published in reputed outlets after undergoing peer review. This presentation will argue for a fundamental change in the review process, specifically advocating a “review by crowdsourcing” approach wherein manuscripts are placed in a public domain for a specified duration for scrutiny by interested scholars. The presentation will outline advantages of this approach as a transformational event positioning communication at the forefront of bold academic enterprise and illustrate an implementation strategy, while also acknowledging inherent challenges.

Qualifications: Dr. Sriram “Sri” Kalyanaraman is an associate professor in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. He serves as co-editor of the journal Media Psychology and on the editorial boards of several other prominent communication journals. Dr. Kalyanaraman’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in engineering and an interdisciplinary PhD in mass communication, with a focus on technology, marketing, psychology, and statistics. Kalyanaraman’s primary research focuses on the psychology of new technologies, particularly as they inform persuasion and attitude change in online environments. He also studies information processing of persuasive health messages and social and marketing effects of sexual and violent content. Kalyanaraman’s research has been funded by both government (e.g., National Institutes of Health) and industry (e.g., Janssen Pharmaceutica).


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