(On peer review, not on an illness) "A troubled tradition" (American Scientist)

Dolphin

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(from Co-Cure)

[Kelly sent me a link to this (new) article about peer review. Although it's not on ME/CFS specifically, I think some people will find it of interest. It's not particularly difficult to read]

Resnik D. A troubled tradition. American Scientist 2011; 99, 1: 24-27. DOI:
10.1511/2011.88.24

http://bit.ly/em9JMR i.e.
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/2011/1/a-troubled-tradition

or (all in one page, printer friendly)
http://bit.ly/hhvql6 i.e.
http://www.americanscientist.org/is...no.1,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx
 

Dolphin

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Peer review guidelines

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To promote trust among authors, editors and reviewers, it is essential that all parties follow ethical standards. Most policies and scholarship related to scientific publication focus on the ethical duties of authors, but at least two sets of important guidelines do address reviewers. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors recommends that peer review be unbiased and that journals publish their peer-review policies. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), a nonprofit organization of journals, publishers and individuals, has developed guidelines that address confidentiality of peer review, protection of intellectual property, fairness and conflict-of-interest management.

Some standards of peer review for editors and referees, recognized by COPE and leading authorities on research integrity, are:

Confidentiality: Maintain confidentiality throughout the review process.

Respect for intellectual property: Do not use authors' ideas, data, methods, figures or results without permission.

Fairness: Avoid biases related to gender, nationality, institutional affiliation and career status.

Professionalism: Read manuscripts carefully, give constructive criticism, avoid personal attacks and complete reviews on time. Review only manuscripts that you are qualified to review.

Conflict-of-interest management: Disclose personal, professional or financial interests that could affect a review and avoid reviewing an article if a conflict of interest could compromise judgment.

If referees followed these guidelines faithfully, I suspect there would be very few setbacks in peer review.
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The article isn't as dry as this, talking about why such guidelines may be necessary.
 

Esther12

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I was reading one paper that had a link to the whole peer review back and forth, with the names of all involved available. It was great!

That's how I'd like to see things done. As open and publicly as possible. It did make the whole thing appear a bit of a shambles, and that could be one of the reasons this sort of openess might not be popular with reviewers.
 

Dolphin

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I was reading one paper that had a link to the whole peer review back and forth, with the names of all involved available. It was great!

That's how I'd like to see things done. As open and publicly as possible. It did make the whole thing appear a bit of a shambles, and that could be one of the reasons this sort of openess might not be popular with reviewers.
Yes, a lot of the journals on http://www.biomedcentral.com/ are like that. There is a button "pre-publication history" where one can see those exchanges. It's interesting.

Also, one can actually pick up some criticisms of papers that way as the reviewers may not get their way and so the initial problems/omissions persist (and the authors may not discuss them).
I've also found that reading some of those exchanges helped me get a better grip on some papers.
 

Esther12

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Y
Also, one can actually pick up some criticisms of papers that way as the reviewers may not get their way and so the initial problems/omissions persist (and the authors may not discuss them).
Yeah. I found it useful information, and it would be a shame to not let people make use of it.