Peerless process

July 2, 2004

Contrary to your leader (June 25), the main problem with peer review is that it simply does not live up to its name: reviewer and reviewed are often not peers. On the whole, reviewers represent a more elite sector of the research community than the authors.

Articles accepted for publication tend to have more elite authors than those rejected. The ideas in rejected articles often end up in print a few years later under the name of a more elite author. Coincidence or conspiracy? Either way, researchers increasingly prefer to take their news ideas directly to the media.

Steve Fuller
Warwick University

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