Study examines development of peer review research in biomedicine

March 11, 2014

An analysis of research on peer review finds that studies aimed at improving methods of peer review and reporting of biomedical research are underrepresented and lack dedicated funding, according to a study in the March 12 issue of JAMA.

Mario Malicki, M.D., M.A., of the University of Split School of Medicine, Split, Croatia, and colleagues analyzed research presented at the International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication (PRC) since 1989. The first PRC was organized to "subject the editorial review process to some of the rigorous scrutiny that editors and reviewers demand of the scientists whose work they are assessing." The researchers collected data on authorship, time to publication, declared funding sources, article availability, and citation counts in Web of Science. The analysis included 614 abstracts.

The researchers found that experimental studies aimed at improving methods of and reporting of biomedical research are still underrepresented on the pages of medical journals. "Although the peer review research community is aware of the consequences of nonpublication of research, 39 percent of studies presented at PRCs have not been fully published. In our cohort, we were unable to determine whether the underreporting was selective [e.g., publication favoring positive results] and were not able to determine its causes."

Peer review and other editorial procedures have the potential to influence the knowledge base of health care, the authors write. "Despite their critical role in biomedical publishing, methods of peer review are still underresearched and lack dedicated funding. Systematic and competitive funding schemes are needed to build and sustain excellence, innovation, and methodological rigor in peer review research."

In an accompanying editorial, Drummond Rennie, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and Annette Flanagin, R.N., M.A., of JAMA, Chicago, comment on the studies in this issue of JAMA that examine peer review and the publishing of .

"… articles on how to improve research, of which publication is an integral part, are important reminders that no matter how much research on peer review and publication has been presented at the Peer Review Congresses and elsewhere, these studies are but part of a widespread movement to improve the scientific literature. As the reports in this issue of JAMA indicate, discovering the extent of the problems and testing methods to correct them will require a massive and prolonged effort on the part of researchers, funders, institutions, and journal editors."

Explore further: Peer review option proposed for biodiversity data

More information: DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.143
DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.1362

Related Stories

Peer review option proposed for biodiversity data

October 25, 2012
Data publishers should have the option of submitting their biodiversity datasets for peer review, according to a discussion paper commissioned by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

Online game aims to improve scientific peer review accuracy

November 9, 2011
Peer review of scientific research is an essential component of research publication, the awarding of grants, and academic promotion. Reviewers are often anonymous. However, a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins ...

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.