How effective is the peer review process?

July 22, 2014

Larissa Shamseer, a PhD student working with Dr. David Moher , has published a paper in the British Medical Journal that examines the effectiveness of the peer review process. Although peer reviewing manuscripts has been around for more than 200 years, there is very little hard evidence concerning the effectiveness of the peer review process at improving the reporting in today’s biomedical journals. Ms. Shamseer was part of a team that reviewed 93 articles that had undergone the peer review process. They concluded that peer reviewers failed to detect important deficiencies in the reporting of the methods and results in many randomized trials. Also, the number of changes requested by peer reviewers was relatively small. However, most authors did comply with recommendations they received. Adherence to reporting checklists by journal editors, peer reviewers and authors could improve the reporting of published articles, according to Ms. Shamseer’s paper. Read the full paper.

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The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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