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July 1989

Speaking of Peer Review...

Author Affiliations

Biomedical Sciences Division Algorithms Inc 17114 Devonshire St Northridge, CA 91325

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(7):1001-1002. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670190135024

To the Editor.—  A recent editorial1 in the Archives articulates the importance of peer review for both readers and authors. Because reviewers are only human, these lofty goals are not always pursued and achieved in practice. Problems associated with peer review generate much discussion, and even systematic study,2 but little or no remedial action.The interdisciplinary researcher can make anecdotal comparisons of reviewers based on medical specialists. In this author's long experience, comments that reflect a lack of current medical knowledge on the reviewer's part are most apt to come from journals in general medicine. Comments that reflect an emotional response from the reviewer, rather than constructive criticism, are most apt to come from psychiatric journals. More surprisingly, perhaps, is that reviewers serving the dermatology journals, such as the Archives, seem more likely than most to render appropriate, helpful, and informed comments.There are several reasons why dermatologists

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