Seminario CIWS: Rebooting Peer Review Systems via Boot Strapping Databases?

Prof. Jeremy Barbay, académico DCC
13 Mayo, 2016 - 10:00
Auditorio Edificio Norte, piso 3, DCC, Universidad de Chile.
Núcleo Milenio CIWS




The Peer Review system has been used in its current form for roughly one century.  It has recently started to show its limits, from systemic failure such as the lack of repeatibility of scientific publication in various fields (Economics, Psychology, etc.), to isolated personal failures such as scientific frauds, and more generally to dangerous trends in the evaluation of academic careers, departments and universities, forming long term incentives potentially harmful to Human ingenuity and ability to progress scientifically. We postulate that such failures are a symptom of the growth of Academia, and that the pressure on the member of academia is stretching the current implementation of the peer review system beyond its limits.


Accordingly, we list modern technologies, currently unused, which could be used for a new implementation of the peer-review process, we discuss the potential cost and advantages of each separately, and which ones and how they can be combined to form a soft transition to a new healthier peer review system. Among those techniques, we focus in particular on the concept of Boot Strapping Databases, where all agents are taking turn at being author, referee and reader, and where the quality of one´s good work as a referee at each tier is evaluated, and used as a condition to be allowed to participate as an author and as a reader. Such systems have been tested to correct student essays in "Calibrated Peer Review", and to incentivate the collaborative development of a database of teaching material at the University of Waterloo. We will open the discussion about how to introduce to manage the peer-reviewing of academic research via services such as the publishers Arxiv and the Cryptology ePrint Archive (



About the speaker


Jeremy was born in France, in June 1976. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1997 in Rouen, a Master degree in 1998 and a Philosophy Doctorate in 2002, both in Computer Science at the Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique of the University of Orsay, under the supervision of Claire Mathieu. He was a posdoctoral fellow at the department of Computer Science of the University of British Columbia until 2004 and an assistant professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science of the University of Waterloo until 2008.


He is now an assistant professor at the department of Computer Science of the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile. His main research is about the analysis of algorithms and data-structures on finer classes of instances than those merely defined by their size, which yields the concepts of adaptive (analysis of) algorithms, instance optimality, output sensitive and parameterized complexity, compressed data structures and indexes, and formal measures of compressibility.