Intended for healthcare professionals


Extra scrutiny for industry funded trials

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 08 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1350

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Kenneth J Rothman, vice president, epidemiology research,
  2. Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology (
  1. RTI Health Solutions, RTI International, 200 Park Offices Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
  2. Medical Statistics Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1 7HT

    JAMA's demand for an additional hurdle is unfair—and absurd

    Suppose that a biomedical journal invoked a new policy requiring that all authors based in western Europe or North America would receive ordinary peer review, but authors from other countries would receive a peer review with additional hurdles. This policy may seem unfair, but suppose the journal claimed that research has shown that there is a greater prevalence of fraud, bias, and sloppy work among papers coming from these other countries.

    If these events actually transpired, we hope that other biomedical journals would rapidly point out that adopting such a policy would be unfair to authors from non-western countries, even if the premises for it were valid. Indeed, we hope that other editors would decide that it would be unethical to create any hierarchical system for submissions of papers to a biomedical journal. Peer review ought to rest …

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