Your data's solid. Your results are impressive. Your methodology's near foolproof. It's time to submit your research for publication. So, of course, you place a call to--the New York Times? The practice isn't new: For a variety of reasons, companies sometimes choose to pitch their research results straight to the popular press--or, in recent years, to anyone who happens upon their Web press release--rather than first submitting their findings to a peer-reviewed journal. Sometimes they don't even announce the findings at a meeting first. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) director Francis Collins calls the practice "regrettable," but regrettably not new. He does suggest that the release of findings without disclosing hard data is "picking up in genetics and genomics" because those findings are "perceived as having more business value than they used to."
Donald Kennedy is wary of any system that steps around peer review.