What is the future of peer review? Why is there fraud in science? Is plagiarism out of control? Why do scientists do bad things? Is it all a case of: "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"?

Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2007;3(1):39-53.

Abstract

Peer review is an essential component of the process that is universally applied prior to the acceptance of a manuscript, grant or other scholarly work. Most of us willingly accept the responsibilities that come with being a reviewer but how comfortable are we with the process? Peer review is open to abuse but how should it be policed and can it be improved? A bad peer review process can inadvertently ruin an individual's career, but are there penalties for policing a reviewer who deliberately sabotages a manuscript or grant? Science has received an increasingly tainted name because of recent high profile cases of alleged scientific misconduct. Once considered the results of work stress or a temporary mental health problem, scientific misconduct is increasingly being reported and proved to be a repeat offence. How should scientific misconduct be handled--is it a criminal offence and subject to national or international law? Similarly plagiarism is an ever-increasing concern whether at the level of the student or a university president. Are the existing laws tough enough? These issues, with appropriate examples, are dealt with in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Conflict of Interest / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Peer Review / trends*
  • Periodicals as Topic / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Plagiarism*
  • Scientific Misconduct*