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Peer review system needs thorough evaluation, MPs hear

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3046 (Published 16 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3046
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The peer review system used by many medical journals before they publish new research needs to be thoroughly evaluated to confirm its value, MPs have been told.

Several medical and scientific journal editors appearing before the parliamentary science and technology select committee on 11 May spoke of the many merits of peer review, but they raised some concerns about the variability of its quality and a lack of adequate evaluation of the system.

The committee was holding the second oral evidence session as part of its inquiry into the peer review process in science (BMJ 2011;342:d2858 doi:10.1136/bmj.d2858).

MPs asked about the BMJ’s written evidence to the committee, which mentioned a study that had concluded that little empirical evidence was available to support the use of editorial peer review as a mechanism to ensure the quality of biomedical research.

Fiona Godlee, editor in chief …

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