Critics Sharpen Assault On Peer Review

Some even recommend abolishing the traditional process used by science journal editors to evaluate submitted manuscripts During the past several years, the practice of peer review of article submissions--accepted unquestioningly by some authors--has come under increasingly harsh scrutiny by others. Many of these authors--joined, in some cases, by the editors of the very publications they are criticizing--are demanding change: Some

Paul Mccarthy
May 29, 1994
Some even recommend abolishing the traditional process used by science journal editors to evaluate submitted manuscripts

During the past several years, the practice of peer review of article submissions--accepted unquestioningly by some authors--has come under increasingly harsh scrutiny by others. Many of these authors--joined, in some cases, by the editors of the very publications they are criticizing--are demanding change: Some are suggesting that reviewers' identities be revealed to the author; some, indeed, want to see the traditional peer-review system abolished altogether.

Advocates of such changes fear that reviewers either are competitors of the authors whose research they are critiquing--and thus may have a vested interest in delaying the publication of their rivals' work--or are immersed in a subdiscipline at such a distance from the papers they are ostensibly reviewing that they may know nothing about the subject. Some also worry that, because publishing is essentially a buyers' market, there is...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?