research peer review


Summary: The evaluation by experts of the quality and pertinence of research or research proposals of other experts in the same field. Peer review is used by editors in deciding which submissions warrant publication, by granting agencies to determine which proposals should be funded, and by academic institutions in tenure decisions.

Top Publications

  1. Bornmann L, Wallon G, Ledin A. Does the committee peer review select the best applicants for funding? An investigation of the selection process for two European molecular biology organization programmes. PLoS ONE. 2008;3:e3480 pubmed publisher
  2. Dickersin K, Ssemanda E, Mansell C, Rennie D. What do the JAMA editors say when they discuss manuscripts that they are considering for publication? Developing a schema for classifying the content of editorial discussion. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2007;7:44 pubmed
    ..Classification of editorial discourse provides insight into editorial decision making and concepts that need exploration in future studies. ..
  3. Budden A, Tregenza T, Aarssen L, Koricheva J, Leimu R, Lortie C. Double-blind review favours increased representation of female authors. Trends Ecol Evol. 2008;23:4-6 pubmed
    ..No negative effects could be identified, suggesting that double-blind review should be considered by other journals. ..
  4. Ledin A, Bornmann L, Gannon F, Wallon G. A persistent problem. Traditional gender roles hold back female scientists. EMBO Rep. 2007;8:982-7 pubmed
  5. Marsh H, Jayasinghe U, Bond N. Improving the peer-review process for grant applications: reliability, validity, bias, and generalizability. Am Psychol. 2008;63:160-8 pubmed publisher
  6. Moher D, Simera I, Schulz K, Hoey J, Altman D. Helping editors, peer reviewers and authors improve the clarity, completeness and transparency of reporting health research. BMC Med. 2008;6:13 pubmed publisher
    ..As such, they are not able to judge the merits of the results and interpret them. The EQUATOR Network is a new initiative aimed at improving the clarity and transparency of reporting health research. ..
  7. Grod O, Budden A, Tregenza T, Koricheva J, Leimu R, Aarssen L, et al. Systematic variation in reviewer practice according to country and gender in the field of ecology and evolution. PLoS ONE. 2008;3:e3202 pubmed publisher
    ..Hence, editors and potential authors should consider alternative sets of criteria, to what exists now, when selecting a panel of referees to potentially balance different tendencies by gender or region. ..
  8. Curfman G, Morrissey S, Annas G, Drazen J. Peer review in the balance. N Engl J Med. 2008;358:2276-7 pubmed publisher
  9. Prady S, Richmond S, Morton V, MacPherson H. A systematic evaluation of the impact of STRICTA and CONSORT recommendations on quality of reporting for acupuncture trials. PLoS ONE. 2008;3:e1577 pubmed publisher
    ..Wider targeting and revision of the guidelines is recommended. ..

More Information


  1. Armstrong A, Idriss S, Kimball A, Bernhard J. Fate of manuscripts declined by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;58:632-5 pubmed publisher
    ..This indicates that peer-reviewer comments can be useful and important for improving the quality of scientific publications. ..
  2. Prady S, MacPherson H. Assessing the utility of the standards for reporting trials of acupuncture (STRICTA): a survey of authors. J Altern Complement Med. 2007;13:939-43 pubmed
    ..A review of STRICTA is warranted to clarify and reconsider items, and targeted promotion to non-complementary and alternative medicine journals should be considered. ..
  3. Hind D, Booth A. Do health technology assessments comply with QUOROM diagram guidance? An empirical study. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2007;7:49 pubmed
    ..Reviewers should understand what they are counting: citations, papers, studies and trials are fundamentally different concepts which should not be confused in a diagram. ..
  4. Sass J, Castleman B, Wallinga D. Vinyl chloride: a case study of data suppression and misrepresentation. Environ Health Perspect. 2005;113:809-12 pubmed
    ..S. EPA reverse its trend toward ever-increasing collaborations with the regulated industries when generating scientific reviews and risk assessments. ..
  5. Hanks G. Peer review in action: the contribution of referees to advancing reliable knowledge. Palliat Med. 2005;19:359-70 pubmed
  6. Schriger D, Wears R, Cooper R, Callaham M. Upgrading our instructions for authors. Ann Emerg Med. 2003;41:565-7 pubmed
  7. Day F, Schriger D, Todd C, Wears R. The use of dedicated methodology and statistical reviewers for peer review: a content analysis of comments to authors made by methodology and regular reviewers. Ann Emerg Med. 2002;40:329-33 pubmed
    ..The 2 dedicated methodology and statistical reviewers created reviews that were similarly focused and emphasized methodology issues that were distinct from the issues raised by regular reviewers. ..
  8. Kliewer M, DeLong D, Freed K, Jenkins C, Paulson E, Provenzale J. Peer review at the American Journal of Roentgenology: how reviewer and manuscript characteristics affected editorial decisions on 196 major papers. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004;183:1545-50 pubmed
    ..Reviewers who were older and of higher academic rank tended to discount the importance of manuscripts. ..
  9. Jamrozik K. Of sausages and salami. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2004;28:5-6 pubmed
  10. Fisher R, Powers L. Peer-reviewed publication: a view from inside. Epilepsia. 2004;45:889-94 pubmed
  11. Whiting P, Weswood M, Rutjes A, Reitsma J, Bossuyt P, Kleijnen J. Evaluation of QUADAS, a tool for the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2006;6:9 pubmed
    ..Reviewers should consider whether all QUADAS items are relevant to their review, and whether additional quality items should be assessed as part of their review. ..
  12. Ancker J, Flanagin A. A comparison of conflict of interest policies at peer-reviewed journals in different scientific disciplines. Sci Eng Ethics. 2007;13:147-57 pubmed
  13. Scarpa T. Research funding: peer review at NIH. Science. 2006;311:41 pubmed
  14. Timmer A, Sutherland L, Hilsden R. Development and evaluation of a quality score for abstracts. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2003;3:2 pubmed
    ..The instrument was found to be acceptable by expert reviewers. A quality index was developed for the evaluation of scientific meeting abstracts which was shown to be reliable, valid and useful. ..
  15. Wells W. The returning tide: how China, the world's most populous country, is building a competitive research base. J Cell Biol. 2007;176:376-401 pubmed
    ..It got one. Now, it wants a world-class research enterprise. How far has it progressed in the biosciences, how did it get there, and how far does it have to go? ..
  16. Zhang S. Judge a paper on its own merits, not its journal's. Nature. 2006;442:26 pubmed
  17. Kennedy D. Responding to fraud. Science. 2006;314:1353 pubmed
  18. Lesser L, Ebbeling C, Goozner M, Wypij D, Ludwig D. Relationship between funding source and conclusion among nutrition-related scientific articles. PLoS Med. 2007;4:e5 pubmed
    ..Industry funding of nutrition-related scientific articles may bias conclusions in favor of sponsors' products, with potentially significant implications for public health. ..
  19. Awasthi S, Beardmore J, Clark J, Hadridge P, Madani H, Marusic A, et al. Five futures for academic medicine. PLoS Med. 2005;2:e207 pubmed
  20. Bekelman J, Li Y, Gross C. Scope and impact of financial conflicts of interest in biomedical research: a systematic review. JAMA. 2003;289:454-65 pubmed
    ..Financial relationships among industry, scientific investigators, and academic institutions are widespread. Conflicts of interest arising from these ties can influence biomedical research in important ways. ..
  21. Davidoff F. Improving peer review: who's responsible?. BMJ. 2004;328:657-8 pubmed
  22. Lawrence P. The politics of publication. Nature. 2003;422:259-61 pubmed
  23. Metz M. Criticism preserves the vitality of science. Nat Biotechnol. 2002;20:867 pubmed
  24. Liesegang T, Shaikh M, Crook J. The outcome of manuscripts submitted to the American Journal of Ophthalmology between 2002 and 2003. Am J Ophthalmol. 2007;143:551-60 pubmed
    ..Rejection of a manuscript by the AJO does not preclude publication, but rejected manuscripts are published more often in journals that serve a smaller readership and are cited less frequently, although exceptions exist. ..
  25. Kaplan D. Point: Statistical analysis in NIH peer review--identifying innovation. FASEB J. 2007;21:305-8 pubmed
  26. Giles J. Open-access journal will publish first, judge later. Nature. 2007;445:9 pubmed
  27. Schriger D, Sinha R, Schroter S, Liu P, Altman D. From submission to publication: a retrospective review of the tables and figures in a cohort of randomized controlled trials submitted to the British Medical Journal. Ann Emerg Med. 2006;48:750-6, 756.e1-21 pubmed
    ..Journals should consider improving their table and figure quality in the hope that improved graphics will empower readers to scrutinize the data, thereby dissuading authors from presenting biased analyses and misrepresented conclusions. ..
  28. Regehr G, Bordage G. To blind or not to blind? What authors and reviewers prefer. Med Educ. 2006;40:832-9 pubmed
    ..The Medical Education authors and reviewers who chose to respond to the survey voted strongly in favour of continuing the double-blinding procedure of concealing both author and reviewer identities during the review process. ..
  29. DeAngelis C. The influence of money on medical science. JAMA. 2006;296:996-8 pubmed
  30. Jafari P, Azuaje F. An assessment of recently published gene expression data analyses: reporting experimental design and statistical factors. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2006;6:27 pubmed
    ..By improving practices of statistical analysis reporting, the scientific community can facilitate quality assurance and peer-review processes, as well as the reproducibility of results. ..
  31. Wright R, Brand R, Dunn W, Spindler K. How to write a systematic review. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2007;455:23-9 pubmed
    ..Systematic reviews conducted in this fashion can be used as a higher form of current concepts or as review articles and replace the traditional expert opinion narrative review. ..
  32. Mela G, Martinoli C, Poggi E, Derchi L. Radiological research in Europe: a bibliometric study. Eur Radiol. 2003;13:657-62 pubmed
    ..The development of research programs within the framework of the European Union specifically aimed to radiology could lead to further advancement of our discipline. ..
  33. Leshner A. Don't let ideology trump science. Science. 2003;302:1479 pubmed
  34. Laine C, Goodman S, Griswold M, Sox H. Reproducible research: moving toward research the public can really trust. Ann Intern Med. 2007;146:450-3 pubmed
    ..This paper is about both functions. We describe the evaluative processes we use and announce a new policy to help the scientific community evaluate, and build upon, the research findings that we publish. ..
  35. Garfield E. The history and meaning of the journal impact factor. JAMA. 2006;295:90-3 pubmed
  36. Callaham M, Wears R, Weber E. Journal prestige, publication bias, and other characteristics associated with citation of published studies in peer-reviewed journals. JAMA. 2002;287:2847-50 pubmed
  37. Couzin J. Stem cells. ...and how the problems eluded peer reviewers and editors. Science. 2006;311:23-4 pubmed
  38. Ross J, Gross C, Desai M, Hong Y, Grant A, Daniels S, et al. Effect of blinded peer review on abstract acceptance. JAMA. 2006;295:1675-80 pubmed
    ..Moreover, blinded review at least partially reduced reviewer bias. ..
  39. Altman D, Goodman S, Schroter S. How statistical expertise is used in medical research. JAMA. 2002;287:2817-20 pubmed
    ..Individuals providing such expertise are often not involved until the analysis of data and many go unrecognized by either authorship or acknowledgment. ..
  40. Mills E, Wu P, Gagnier J, Devereaux P. The quality of randomized trial reporting in leading medical journals since the revised CONSORT statement. Contemp Clin Trials. 2005;26:480-7 pubmed
    ..Although reporting of some CONSORT recommendations is high, reporting of several essential recommendations remains suboptimal. Authors need to comply with and journals need to enforce reporting of the revised CONSORT recommendations. ..
  41. Habibzadeh F. Regional associations of medical journal editors: moving from rhetoric to reality. Bull World Health Organ. 2005;83:404 pubmed
  42. Kliewer M, Freed K, DeLong D, Pickhardt P, Provenzale J. Reviewing the reviewers: comparison of review quality and reviewer characteristics at the American Journal of Roentgenology. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2005;184:1731-5 pubmed
    ..99). The highest-rated AJR reviewers tended to be young and from academic institutions. The quality of peer review did not correlate with the sex, academic rank, or subspecialty of the reviewer. ..
  43. Alper B, Hand J, Elliott S, Kinkade S, Hauan M, Onion D, et al. How much effort is needed to keep up with the literature relevant for primary care?. J Med Libr Assoc. 2004;92:429-37 pubmed
    ..5 hours per month to evaluate these articles. To provide practicing clinicians with the best current evidence, more comprehensive and systematic literature surveillance efforts are needed. ..
  44. Drazen J, Ingelfinger J. Grants, politics, and the NIH. N Engl J Med. 2003;349:2259-61 pubmed
  45. Meguid M, Shenkin A. Introduction: nutritional supplements and the quest to improve human performance-the need for the strictest standards and rigor when reporting clinical trials. Nutrition. 2003;19:955-6 pubmed
  46. Berghmans T, Meert A, Mascaux C, Paesmans M, Lafitte J, Sculier J. Citation indexes do not reflect methodological quality in lung cancer randomised trials. Ann Oncol. 2003;14:715-21 pubmed
    ..Journals with higher citation factors do not appear to publish clinical trials with higher levels of methodological quality, at least for trials in the field of lung cancer research. ..
  47. Klein D. Peer review and data access. Cortex. 2002;38:412 pubmed
  48. Olson C, Rennie D, Cook D, Dickersin K, Flanagin A, Hogan J, et al. Publication bias in editorial decision making. JAMA. 2002;287:2825-8 pubmed
    ..30 (95% CI, 0.87-1.96). Among submitted manuscripts, we did not find a statistically significant difference in publication rates between those with positive vs negative results. ..
  49. Smidt N, Rutjes A, van der Windt D, Ostelo R, Bossuyt P, Reitsma J, et al. Reproducibility of the STARD checklist: an instrument to assess the quality of reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2006;6:12 pubmed
    ..Including a flow diagram in all reports on diagnostic accuracy studies would be very helpful in reducing confusion between readers and among reviewers. ..
  50. Grimm D. Peer review. Suggesting or excluding reviewers can help get your paper published. Science. 2005;309:1974 pubmed
  51. Bosch F, Guardiola E. [Abridged checklist for the evaluation of basic biomedical research papers]. Med Clin (Barc). 2003;121:228-30 pubmed
  52. Eagleman D, Holcombe A. Improving science through online commentary. Nature. 2003;423:15 pubmed
  53. Grosch E. Reviewer diligence. Br J Sports Med. 2003;37:187 pubmed