The ups and downs of peer review

Adv Physiol Educ. 2007 Jun;31(2):145-52. doi: 10.1152/advan.00104.2006.


This article traces the history of peer review of scientific publications, plotting the development of the process from its inception to its present-day application. We discuss the merits of peer review and its weaknesses, both perceived and real, as well as the practicalities of several major proposed changes to the system. It is our hope that readers will gain a better appreciation of the complexities of the process and, when serving as reviewers themselves, will do so in a manner that will enhance the utility of the exercise. We also propose the development of an international on-line training program for accreditation of potential referees.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • History, 17th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Review / standards*
  • Prejudice
  • Publishing / history*
  • Publishing / standards
  • Social Responsibility