Are “best practices” or “good practices” a real or a semantic distinction? Clearly one size does not fit all peer review needs. Recent assessments of peer review practices have used both terms.
A very general description of effective peer review types and techniques, Best Practices in Peer Review Assure Quality, Value, Objectivity, was published by ORAU in 2009.
In 2010, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) assisted the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) with a workshop for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) evaluating multiple approaches to peer review. Experts familiar with review and selection of basic and applied research across government agencies and the private sector gathered in January, 2010 in Washington, D.C. Panelists from Federal agencies engaged in basic and applied research, private industry, and universities described best practices and discussed their applicability to EERE review needs.
From Nature News, A how-to for peer review – “A report from the European Science Foundation (ESF) offers guidance on the fairest ways to evaluate project proposals. The European Peer Review Guide maps grant-reviewing practices among European funding agencies and sets out recommendations.
“Europe is a kind of laboratory for peer review, with programmes that span disciplines, and countries with varying evaluation criteria, review procedures and incentives for reviewers. There is no single correct model, says co-author Marc Heppener, the ESF’s director of science and strategy development. “The report refrains from using the term ‘best practice’, and refers instead to ‘good practice’,” he said.