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Edit Pique

I read with interest your articles on peer review, especially "Pique and Critique" (The Scientist, July 11, 1988). Of course there are problems with anonymity in the peer-review system; authors are few who have not at some time in their careers felt real or perceived offense from a negative review. In the mathematical sciences, which I know the best, this is a recurring problem. Various measures have been proposed from time to time. Some years ago, for instance, one journal experimented by delet

Ivan Rival
I read with interest your articles on peer review, especially "Pique and Critique" (The Scientist, July 11, 1988).

Of course there are problems with anonymity in the peer-review system; authors are few who have not at some time in their careers felt real or perceived offense from a negative review. In the mathematical sciences, which I know the best, this is a recurring problem. Various measures have been proposed from time to time. Some years ago, for instance, one journal experimented by deleting the authors' names from the submission copy sent to the referees. The experiment did not last long. As near as I can tell, all efforts to tamper with the long tradition of peer review and anonymity have failed.

There is, however, a remedy that your recent articles have overlooked and which seems to me to neatly solves the occasional frustration. A responsible editor can be...

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