Fit for purpose

December 16, 2010

The authors of the study covered in "Time and experience are no friends of peer review" (News, 9 December) appear to have overlooked a relatively straightforward reason for the phenomenon they observe.

Rather than senescence or laziness, the explanation may be that reviewers gravitate towards the minimum standard needed to do the task at hand - namely, determining whether an article should be published. Perhaps if journal editors paid reviewers, they would elicit more than simple efficiency.

Steve Fuller, Professor of sociology, University of Warwick.

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