Reviewing Peer Review

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Science  04 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5885, pp. 15
DOI: 10.1126/science.1162115

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Peer review, in which experts in the field scrutinize and critique scientific results prior to publication, is fundamental to scientific progress, and the achievements of science in the last century are an endorsement of its value. Peer review influences more than just science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other similar advisory groups base their judgments on peer-reviewed literature, and this is part of their success. Many legal decisions and regulations also depend on peer-reviewed science. Thus, thorough, expert review of research results--without compensation--is an obligation that scientists shoulder for both science and the general public.