Based on the available literature, feedback from the community, and the discussions of the Working Group, it is our recommendation that the Institute move toward a dual-anonymous proposal process beginning with Cycle 26 HST in late 2018. We understand that a fully anonymous process requires active participation from community, and that there is notable apprehension as to what the effect of anonymizing will do to the scientific productivity of the observatory. We therefore recommend a phased approach, in which most of review is done anonymously with a sensibility check done at the very end of the review.
Purpose of the Working Group
We're working on a plan for implementing anonymous proposal reviews beginning with the Cycle 26 HST TAC process. This includes,
- review and possible revision of the proposal process, from phase I submissions to TAC selection.
- instructions to proposers on how to write anonymous proposals
- instructions to the TAC panels and chairs on how to review anonymous proposals
- information for the community on the issues with singly anonymous peer reviews, and the solutions dual anonymous reviews should address.
The document with our charge, Working Group on Anonymous Proposing final.pdf
Chair: Lou Strolger (STScI)
Members: Peter Garnavich (Notre Dame), Stefanie Johnson (Leeds Business School, U. Colorado, Boulder), Mercedes Lopez- Morales (CfA, STUC), Andrea Prestwich (CfA), Christina Richey (JPL), Paule Sonnentrucker (STScI), Michael Strauss (Princeton), and Brian Williams (STScI)
Ex-officio: Tom Brown, Neill Reid (STScI)
The following presentations were given to the WGAPR:
- On the statistics on HST proposal success rates, HST Proposal Statistics.ppt (N. Reid)
- On Gender Bias in Hubble Proposal Ratings, Hubble Presentation.pptx (S. Johnson)
The Current HST Proposal Process
The HST Call formally describes the proposal process and review policies each cycle. In particular, Chapter 6.1 covers how the reviews are done, and Chapter 6.2 discusses the selection criteria that we expect panel reviewers and the TAC to use for evaluations. The HST Peer Review Information site has much more detailed information from the Science Policies Group on HST peer review, including some history on the evaluation of the review, more specific guidelines to reviewers, presentations provided at orientation on the observatory status and science activities, lists of previous panelists and chairs, and the proposal processing procedures.
Articles on Dual Anonymous Reviews
The STScI Chief Librarian, Jenny Novacescu, has complied a few articles on double-blind peer reviews that should be useful in our discussions. They are available on Box (http://bit.ly/2ENhoV4), and include crib notes by the Librarian on each article in the document Anonymous-Double Blind Review Annotated Bibliography [.docx.]. Before diving into these articles, a place to start might be this article in Science Magazine.