Little evidence for effectiveness of scientific peer review

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7383.241/a (Published 1 February 2003)
Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:241.2

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  1. Caroline White
  1. London

    Despite its widespread use and costs, little hard evidence exists that peer review improves the quality of published biomedical research, concludes a systematic review from the international Cochrane Collaboration.

    Yet the system, which has been used for at least 200 years, has only recently come under scrutiny, with its assumptions about fairness and objectivity rarely tested, say the review authors. With few exceptions, journal editors—and clinicians—around the world continue to see it as the hallmark of serious scientific endeavour.

    Published last week, the review is the third in a series from the Cochrane Collaboration …

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