Re: ClinMed NetPrints

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 16:28:44 +0100

On Wed, 5 Apr 2000, Christopher D. Green wrote:

> Although it is well-known among psychologists (it may not be so well-known
> among others), there was actually an empirical study of the reliability of
> peer review published in Behavioral & Brain Science in 1982. The system did
> not come off very well. To quote the abstract:
> "12 research articles were resubmitted to the journals that had published
> them 18-32 mo previously, with ficticious names and institutions substituted
> for the original ones. Only 3 of the resubmissions were detected, and 8 of
> the remaining articles were rejected--primarily for "serious methodological
> flaws." Authoreviewer accountability is discussed, and recommendations for
> improving the peer review system are presented. Commentary on this article
> is provided by 56 authors along with the original authors'."
> Peters, Douglas P. & Ceci, Stephen J. (1982). Peer-review practices of
> psychological journals: The fate of published articles, submitted again.
> Behavioral & Brain Sciences. 1982 Jun Vol 5(2) 187-255

Although this is certainly true, and it is also true that peer review could
stand with some testing, review, and eventual reform on the basis of the outcome,
I have to reiterate that the objective of freeing the current peer-reviewed literature,
such as it is, now, is completely independent of -- and should be kept independent of --
any future-contingent empirical program for the reform of peer review.

Prof. Stevan Harnad
Editor, phone: +44 23-80 594-583
Behavioral and Brain Sciences fax: +44 23-80 593-281
Department of Electronics and
             Computer Science
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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