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Medical News & Perspectives
November 6, 2013

Striving for a More Perfect Peer Review: Editors Confront Strengths, Flaws of Biomedical Literature

JAMA. 2013;310(17):1781-1783. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280660

Chicago—“Most results in clinical research are false positives or substantially exaggerated,” said John Ioannidis, MD, to an audience of journal editors from around the world, gathered in September for the Seventh International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication, a quadrennial research meeting organized by JAMA and the BMJ (http://bit.ly/19gG1C8).

His stinging assessment of the peer-reviewed literature was one of many reminders that the field of biomedical publishing remains a work in progress nearly 2 and half decades after meeting organizers launched the Peer Review Congress as a means to promote research into the field and hold one another accountable. Such robust criticism continued throughout the meeting, with researchers and journal editors presenting evidence of bias, failure to publish results or report author conflicts of interest, and sloppy or inaccurate reporting of results.