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February 1978

Peer ReviewA View From Another Pier

Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(2):197. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630260011006

Thousands of manuscripts stream into the editorial offices of medical journals every day only to land on cluttered desks of overworked editors. A select few find their way almost immediately to the printers. Many more are promptly set on their course back to the authors. The remainder, a substantial number, are sailed out to various experts for peer review.

It is the last group that is of the greatest concern to the editor. Will they reach their respective destinations or will they aimlessly drift? Will they return soon, or will they tarry? And if they return, will they dock smoothly alongside one another or will they collide in a violent clash of opinions?

Peer review has become a source of controversy as well as concern. For instance, opinion is divided on the privilege of anonymity enjoyed by the reviewer. Some regard this privilege to be unfair to the author who

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