Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To publish or not to publish? That is the question

Date:
May 21, 2010
Source:
Indiana University School of Medicine
Summary:
A new study investigates reviewers' recommendations and their influence on medical journal editors who are the ultimate arbiters of whether the research is published or not.

For more than 50 years medical research has been vetted through the peer-review process overseen by medical journal editors who assign reviewers to determine whether work merits publication. A study published in PLoS ONE investigates reviewers' recommendations and their influence on journal editors who are the ultimate arbiters of whether the research is published or not.

"Published research is becoming a more and more significant factor in scientific dialogue. Physicians and other researchers are no longer the only readers of medical studies. Patients and their families and friends now regularly access medical literature. This makes the review process even more important," said study senior author William Tierney, M.D., a Regenstrief Institute investigator, Chancellor's Professor and professor of medicine at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

"Peer review provides an important filtering function with the goal of insuring that only the highest quality research is published. Yet the results of our analysis suggest that reviewers agree on the disposition of manuscripts -- accept or reject -- at a rate barely exceeding what would be expected by chance. Nevertheless, editors' decisions appear to be significantly influenced by reviewer recommendations," said Dr. Tierney, who is the Joseph J. Mamlin Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

A total of 2,264 manuscripts submitted to the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM) were sent by the editors for external review to two or three reviewers each during the study period. These manuscripts received a total of 5,881 reviews provided by 2,916 reviewers. Twenty-eight percent of all reviews recommended rejection. However, the journal's overall rejection rate was much higher -- 48 percent overall and 88 percent when all reviewers for a manuscript agreed on rejection (which occurred with only 7 percent of manuscripts). The rejection rate was 20 percent even when all reviewers agreed that the manuscript should be accepted (which occurred with 48 percent of manuscripts).

"We need to better understand and improve the reliability of the peer-review process while helping editors, who make the ultimate publish or not publish decision, recognize the limitations of reviewers' recommendations," said Dr. Tierney, who served as JGIM co-editor-in-chief from 2004-2009.

JGIM is a publication of the Society of General Internal Medicine, which funded this study. The journal's editorial office is located at the Regenstrief Institute.

In addition to Dr. Tierney, co-authors of the study are Richard L. Kravitz, M.D., M.S.P.H. and Peter Franks, M.D., of the University of California, Davis; Mitchell D. Feldman, M.D., M.Phil., of the University of California, San Francisco; Martha Gerrity, M.D., Ph.D., of Oregon Health Sciences University and Portland VA Medical Center and Cindy Byrne of the IU School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Richard L. Kravitz, Peter Franks, Mitchell D. Feldman, Martha Gerrity, Cindy Byrne, William M. Tierney, Margaret Sampson. Editorial Peer Reviewers' Recommendations at a General Medical Journal: Are They Reliable and Do Editors Care? PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (4): e10072 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010072

Cite This Page:

Indiana University School of Medicine. "To publish or not to publish? That is the question." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100521191442.htm>.
Indiana University School of Medicine. (2010, May 21). To publish or not to publish? That is the question. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100521191442.htm
Indiana University School of Medicine. "To publish or not to publish? That is the question." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100521191442.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins