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July 15, 1998

Peer Review in Prague

Author Affiliations

Dr Rennie is Deputy Editor (West), JAMA .

JAMA. 1998;280(3):214-215. doi:10.1001/jama.280.3.214

In this issue of THE JOURNAL, we publish 33 articles, based on presentations in Prague, Czech Republic, on subjects surrounding the publication of science relevant to clinicians. This constitutes the third such theme issue of JAMA, since our announcement in 1986 that we would hold a conference to present research into editorial peer review.1

Publication has always been a central part of the research process, but there had, before this, been remarkably few serious investigations into its workings,1-3 though no shortage of opinion written in the absence of facts. The lack of information was particularly surprising given the strong prejudices being advanced for and against peer review.1 Now, 12 years later, some questions about peer review are being answered. More importantly, a growing number of our colleagues accept that their processes are worthy of serious study, and that, as we face the future, it makes sense to monitor our performance and to base changes in the way journals operate on objective evidence.