Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improve peer review by making the reviewers better suited to the task

Date:
July 29, 2014
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
A 'kitemark' that identifies randomized-controlled trials reviewed by specially trained peer reviewers would improve public trust in the robustness of clinical trials, according to an opinion piece.

A 'kitemark' that identifies randomized-controlled trials reviewed by specially trained peer reviewers would improve public trust in the robustness of clinical trials, according to an opinion piece in the open access journal BMC Medicine. Jigisha Patel, BioMed Central's Medical Editor argues that peer review should be recognized as a professional skill in the clinical medical field. The article was openly peer reviewed and the reports published alongside, as is the case for all BMC Medicine articles.

Peer review and its effectiveness is the subject of much heated debate within medical and scientific communities at the moment. This is coupled with the ongoing public discussion about the need for greater openness and the transparency in how clinical trials are conducted.

Jigisha Patel's opinion piece discusses her experiences as a junior doctor, and how she took for granted that when research was published in a medical journal that editors selected the best qualified people to review clinical trials. However, there is often disagreement over what peer review is, and there is variation in instructions for peer reviewers from journal to journal and on who is eligible to be a peer reviewer.

Jigisha Patel says: "While innovations in trial reporting and the peer review process have increased transparency, there has been little progress in defining the aims and effects or improving the quality of peer review itself. There is vast volume of health information available to the lay person with little or no guidance on its quality or trustworthiness."

This opinion piece underwent open peer review -- as is the case with all BMC series clinical journals -- which means the authors and reviewers identities are known to each other. In addition, the reports will be published alongside the article, which provides more transparency for the reader.

One of the peer reviewers, Doug Altman, Director of Centre for Statistics in Medicine at Oxford University, said in his report: "The issues raised [in this article] are of major importance to the integrity and value of the medical research literature. The problems identified are well known of course, and in my view not amenable to easy resolution….The main problem though is that nobody has the power to change the system and it is the system that is the problem….But we should try to make progress and this paper offers one way forward."

Jigisha Patel proposes a possible solution: "Peer review of randomized controlled trials should be recognized as a professional skill. Peer reviewers could be taught to spot fundamental flaws and be periodically evaluated to make sure they do, in the same way that any other knowledge or skill that affects patient care is. Every randomized controlled trial, and its peer review reports if made public, whether published online, on paper, open access or subscription only, with open or closed peer review, or peer reviewed before or after publication could then have a searchable 'quality assurance' symbol."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jigisha Patel. Why training and specialization is needed for peer review: a case study of peer review for randomized controlled trials. BMC Medicine, 2014; 12 (1): 128 DOI: 10.1186/s12916-014-0128-z

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Improve peer review by making the reviewers better suited to the task." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729224951.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2014, July 29). Improve peer review by making the reviewers better suited to the task. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729224951.htm
BioMed Central. "Improve peer review by making the reviewers better suited to the task." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729224951.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reaffirmed the administration's confidence in the CDC's ability to keep the Ebola virus from spreading. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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