The Fourth International Congress on Peer Review in Biomedical Publications, organized by JAMA-The Journal of the American Medical Association and the BMJ Publishing Group, meeting in Barcelona Sept. 14-16, featured three days of presentations of original research on peer review. Despite coming on the heels of the terrorist attacks in the United States, 275 of the 410 registered participants attended. Many scheduled speakers whose flights were canceled were able to E-mail their presentations, which were then delivered. In all, the event featured 39 of 44 scheduled presentations and 58 of 65 planned posters.

Many of the 37 studies presented cover the same ground as other studies and other congresses: authorship, quality of reports of randomized studies and statistical review, the review process itself, communicating to readers, publication bias, and ethical and confidentiality issues. Many reports concentrated on the better known journals (true for 44 percent of the studies) and focused...

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