Promoting research into peer review No quick fixes

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6953.538 (Published 20 August 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:538
  1. S A T Redfern
  1. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EQ
  2. Gloucestershire Royal Hospital NHS Trust, Gloucester GL1 3NN
  3. Department of Pathology, Leicester General Hospital NHS Trust, Leicester LE5 4PW.

    EDITOR, - Anyone who has been involved at either end of the peer review process will be aware problems associated with the system. Richard Smith's editorial talks of the failings of a cost process and reflects some of the concerns that seem to have prompted recent proposals to streamling grant reviewing in both the National Institutes of Health in the United States and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in Britain. Other grant awarding institutions seem likely to follow.

    The editorial emphasises the need for further interventionist research into peer review. Interestingly, one recent interventionist study of peer review of academic articles concluded that the process was indeed unreliable,2 yet provoked discussion with opinions ranging from agreement to rejection4 and threw up a number of suggestion for reform of the …

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