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Bringing a 'trust but verify' model to journal peer review


July 20, 2017

Academic journals are increasingly asking authors to use transparent reporting practices to "trust, but verify" that outcomes are not being reported in a biased way and enable other researchers to reproduce the results. To implement these reporting practices, most journals rely on the process of peer review — where other scholars review research findings before publication — but relatively few journals measure the quality and effectiveness of the process.

In a commentary published July 21 in the journal Science, lead author Dr. Carole Lee and co-author Dr. David Moher (pictured at right) identify incentives that could encourage journals to "open the black box of peer review" for the sake of improving transparency, reproducibility, and trust in published research.

Dr. Lee is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Washington; Dr. Moher is a senior scientist in clinical epidemiology at The Ottawa Hospital and associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Ottawa.

Drs. Lee and Moher see this as a collective action problem requiring leadership and investment by publishers.

Read the full commentary in Science, news release from the University of Washington or commentary in STAT.

The Ottawa Hospital: Inspired by research. Driven by compassion


The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care. See www.ohri.ca for more information about research at The Ottawa Hospital.

University of Ottawa: —A crossroads of cultures and ideas


The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe. www.uottawa.ca

Media Contact for Dr. Moher


Jennifer Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-798-5555 x 73325
Cell: 613-614-5253
jganton@ohri.ca