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December 15, 1993

Flaws Documented, Reforms Debated at Congress on Journal Peer Review

JAMA. 1993;270(23):2775-2778. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510230011003

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RESEARCH is revealing much room for improvement in the long-concealed world of medical journal peer review.

A host of shortcomings, from bias and error to poor readability and a lack of clear standards, were documented in studies presented at the Second International Congress on Peer Review in Biomedical Publication, held in Chicago, Ill.

See also p 2856.

The meeting, sponsored by the American Medical Association, was designed "to stimulate research, not rehash editorial opinion," says congress director Drummond Rennie, MD, Deputy Editor (West), JAMA, Chicago, Ill.

"We are looking closely for information we can put into practice" to improve "and, if necessary, reinvent" medical journals, says George D. Lundberg, MD, Editor, JAMA.

Need for Standards  Despite Rennie's call to focus on research, calls for establishing standards peppered the meeting. Speakers cited a need for clear statements of the types of reasons papers are rejected, what is expected from reviewers, how