Interesting post by the Retraction Watch blog, pointing to an interesting paper published last week in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. An excerpt from the blog post:
Over 14 years, 84 editors at the journal rated close to 15,000 reviews by about 1,500 reviewers. Highlights of their findings:
…92% of peer reviewers deteriorated during 14 years of study in the quality and usefulness of their reviews (as judged by editors at the time of decision), at rates unrelated to the length of their service (but moderately correlated with their mean quality score, with better-than average reviewers decreasing at about half the rate of those below average). Only 8% improved, and those by very small amount.
How bad did they get? The reviewers were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 in which a change of 0.5 (10%) had been earlier shown to be “clinically” important to an editor. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
Peer review has been the cornerstone of quality control in academia, including science and medicine, for the past century. The process is slow and laborious, but a necessary filter in order to maintain a certain standard within the literature. Yet more and more scholars are recognizing the speed, immediacy, and openness of the Internet as a tool for exchanging ideas and information, and this is causing some to question the methods of peer review. A recent New York Times article discusses this issue.
This issue is very relevant to Science-Based Medicine (SBM) as this is in part an experiment –- an attempt to produce a high quality, editorially filtered, but not peer-reviewed, online journal. Our process here is simple. Outside submissions are reviewed by two or more editors and typically are either accepted with minor revisions or rejected. In addition we have a staff of regular contributors –- those who have a proven track record of producing high quality articles. There is no pre-publication review for their submissions, and they are able to post directly to SBM. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*