Jury Theorems for Peer Review

Marcus Arvan, Liam Kofi Bright, Remco Heesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peer review is often taken to be the main form of quality control on academic research. Usually journals carry this out. However, parts of math and physics appear to have a parallel, crowd-sourced model of peer review, where papers are posted on the arXiv to be publicly discussed. In this paper we argue that crowd-sourced peer review is likely to do better than journal-solicited peer review at sorting papers by quality. Our argument rests on two key claims. First, crowd-sourced peer review will lead on average to more reviewers per paper than journal-solicited peer review. Second, due to the wisdom of the crowds, more reviewers will tend to make better judgments than fewer. We make the second claim precise by looking at the Condorcet Jury Theorem as well as two related jury theorems developed specifically to apply to peer review.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


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