News of the WeekScientific Publishing

Peer Review and Quality: A Dubious Connection?

Science  21 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5538, pp. 2187-2188
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5538.2187a

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Summary

BARCELONA, SPAIN-- Despite its flaws, letting scientists anonymously judge each other's work is widely considered the "least bad way" to weed out weak manuscripts or research proposals and improve promising ones. But that common wisdom was questioned last weekend at a meeting attended by hundreds of editors of medical journals and academics. In a meta-analysis that surprised many--and that some doubt--researchers found little evidence that peer review actually improves the quality of research papers.