About Peer Review

Ethics in Research: What’s the verdict on peer review? ‘A young cardiologic researcher published his findings in the world’s most prestigious medical journal – which later retracted the paper when auditors found that he had cooked his data. An investigator studying drug treatment for hyperactive children did likewise. A top American immunologist was chastened for failing to adequately credit overseas colleagues in the identification of a new virus. And one of America’s foremost scientists, at first supported by deferential peers against a largely defenseless junior colleague in a dispute over the publication of questionable data, was eventually forced to resign his prestigious post when the data were determined to be bogus. Why didn’t the peer review system prevent these instances of unethical behavior? Was the system, as many have argued, part of the problem?’

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