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Reviewing peer review

Peer review is on every life scientist?s mind lately, it seems. One of the main complaints I heard while researching the linkurl:February cover story;http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/2/1/26/1/ is that the process is inherently difficult to investigate scientifically. Each journal has a somewhat unique system for reviewing papers, and each paper will have a unique journey through a journal?s reviewing machinery. But I?ve learned that even though peer review has obvious imperfections, it?s the b

Alison McCook
Peer review is on every life scientist?s mind lately, it seems. One of the main complaints I heard while researching the linkurl:February cover story;http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/2/1/26/1/ is that the process is inherently difficult to investigate scientifically. Each journal has a somewhat unique system for reviewing papers, and each paper will have a unique journey through a journal?s reviewing machinery. But I?ve learned that even though peer review has obvious imperfections, it?s the best system we?ve got, and simply complaining about what?s wrong with it doesn?t help matters much. Investigating peer review is difficult, sure, but does that mean we shouldn?t even try? Kirby Lee, an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy, and his colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, have spent a year and a half collecting data about the peer review process at The Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, and BMJ. The data, also reported in Nature...
JAMA

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