The peer review system serves as a gatekeeping system for scientific research, designed to ensure the publication of only the most well researched studies with the most important findings. Scientists depend on publication of their research in peer reviewed journals for career advancement. While peer review can prevent the publication of unimportant or poorly researched manuscripts, some scholars are concerned that it protects the status quo and suppresses innovation.
To evaluate this claim, Siler and his team studied a dataset of manuscripts submitted to Annals of Internal Medicine, British Medical Journal and The Lancet in 2003 and 2004. These journals rejected 946 of the 1,008 manuscripts in the dataset. 722 of the rejected journals never made it past the editor’s desk and therefore, never even reached the peer review stage, at one or more of these three publications.
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