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December 15, 1993

More Peering Into Editorial Peer Review

JAMA. 1993;270(23):2856-2858. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510230094044

Eight years ago, we at JAMA decided to invite scientists and editors of scientific journals to discuss research into the process whereby manuscripts in both basic and clinical biomedicine are selected and improved for publication: editorial peer review.

See also p 2775.

Scientists spend a good deal of their time reviewing papers sent to them by journals and responding to the reviewers' criticisms of their own papers. For their part, editors spend an even greater proportion of their time running and fine-tuning the delicate apparatus of review. Peer review educates everyone concerned and is comforting to editors and to the scientific community, who believe that it tends to make what seems to be an arbitrary process more democratic.1 If peer review always worked properly in helping editors to make informed choices concerning the validity and importance of different manuscripts while improving those published, its virtues would be too obvious to