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February 1986

Reviewmanship: In Need of Review

Arch Dermatol. 1986;122(2):131-132. doi:10.1001/archderm.1986.01660140015001

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To the Editor.—  Prestigious journals boast that their articles are all peer reviewed. They measure their prestige by the proportion of submitted manuscripts that are rejected.I submit that reviewmanship has now become analogous to grantmanship—a huge burden on the institution of science and a drag on progress and initiative. Both are touted as democratic, fair processes that ensure high professional standards. A theoretical defense can be built for this proposition, but there is no empirical evidence to support it.Historically, there are spectacular examples of disapproved manuscripts that were later found to be seminal articles of the greatest importance. Peer review is a good idea. So is socialism, except that its ideals are subverted by a new, heartless management class. I suggest that reviewers have become too arrogant and too powerful.My present peeve is with the comments one receives from the present cast of reviewers, whether or not

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