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Article
March 1990

Journal Peer ReviewingAnonymity or Disclosure?

Author Affiliations

Houston, Tex

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(3):345-349. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070050043027

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Abstract

Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.

Lord Acton1

A legal precedent for anonymity of manuscript reviewers was set on March 15, 1989, when a federal appellate court upheld a lower court decision that the American Physical Society, New York, NY, has the right to preserve the anonymity of reviewers of manuscripts for its journal.2 In May 1975, W. E. Spear and P. G. Le Comber submitted a manuscript to the Society's Physical Review Letters. One of the two reviewers evaluated the manuscript favorably, but the other advised against publication. The editor rejected the manuscript, writing the authors on June 12,1975, that "while a report of this work may deserve publication it is not of such novel and stimulating character as to warrant publication as a Letter."2 He enclosed only the unfavorable

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