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Comparative Study
. 2012 Oct;33(5):359-76.
doi: 10.1007/s11017-012-9233-1.

Peer Review Versus Editorial Review and Their Role in Innovative Science

Georg SteinhauserWolfram AdlassnigJesaka Ahau RischSerena AnderliniPetros ArguriouAaron Zolen ArmendarizWilliam BainsClark BakerMartin BarnesJonathan BarnettMichael BaumgartnerThomas BaumgartnerCharles A BendallYvonne S BenderMax BichlerTeresa BiermannRonaldo BiniEduardo BlancoJohn BleauAnthony BrinkDarin BrownChristopher BurghuberRoy CalneBrian CarterCesar CastañoPeter CelecMaria Eugenia CelisNicky ClarkeDavid CockrellDavid CollinsBrian CooganJennifer CraigCal CrillyDavid CroweAntonei B CsokaChaza DarwichTopiciprin Del KebosMichele DerinaldiBongani DlaminiTomasz DrewaMichael DwyerFabienne EderRaúl Ehrichs de PalmaDean EsmayCatherine Evans RöttChristopher ExleyRobin FalkovCelia Ingrid FarberWilliam FearnSophie FelsmannJarl FlensmarkAndrew K FletcherMichaela FosterKostas N FountoulakisJim FourattJesus Garcia BlancaManuel Garrido SoteloFlorian GittlerGeorg GittlerJuan GomezJuan F GomezMaria Grazia Gonzales PolarJossina GonzalezChristoph GösselsbergerLynn HabermacherMichael HajekFaith HakalaMary-Sue HaliburtonJohn Robert HankinsJason HartSepp HasslbergerDonalyn HennesseyAndrea HerrmannMike HerseeConnie HowardSuzanne HumphriesLaeeth IsharcPetar IvanovskiStephen JenuthJens JerndalChristine JohnsonYonas KeletaAnna KennyBillie KiddFritz KohleJafar KolahiMarianne Koller-PeroutkaLyubov KostovaArunachalam KumarAlejandro KurosawaTony LanceMichael LechermannBernhard LendlMichael LeuchtersEvan LewisEdward LiebGloria LloydAngelika LosekYao LuSaadia MaestracciDennis ManganAlberto W MaresJuan Mazar BarnettValerie McClainJohn Sydney McNairTerry MichaelLloyd MillerPartizia MonzaniBelen MoranMike MorrisGeorg MößmerJohny MountainOnnie Mary Moyo PhutheMarcos MuñozSheri NakkenAnne Nduta WambuiBettina NeunteuflDimitrije NikolićDevesh V OberoiGregory ObmodeLaura OgarJo OharaNaion Olej RybineBryan OwenKim Wilson OwenRakesh ParikhNicholas J G PearceBernhard PemmerChris PiperIan PrinceTerence ReidHeiner RindermannStefan RischJosh RobbinsSeth RobertsAjeandro RomeroMichael Thaddäus RotheSergio RuizJuliane SacherWolfgang SacklMarkus SalletmaierJairaj SanandClemens SauerzopfThomas SchwarzgruberDavid ScottLaura SeegersDavid SeppiKyle ShieldsJolanta Siller-MatulaBeldeu SinghSibusio SitholeFlorian SixJohn R SkoylesJildou SlofstraDaphne Anne SoleWerner F SommerMels SonkoChrislie J Starr-CasanovaMarjorie Elizabeth SteakleyWolfgang SteinhauserKonstantin SteinhoffJohannes H SterbaMartin SteppanReinhard StindlJoe StokelyKarri StokelyGilles St-PierreJames StratfordChristina StreliCarl StrygMike SullivanJohann SummhammerAmhayes TadesseDavid TavaresLaura ThompsonAlison TomlinsonJack TozerSiro I TrevisanatoMichaela TrimmelNicole TurnerPaul VahurJennie van der BylTine van der MaasLeo VarelaCarlos A VegaShiloh VermaakAlex VillasenorMatt VogelGeorg von WintzigerodeChristoph WagnerManuel WeinbergerPeter WeinbergerNick WilsonJennifer Finocchio WolfeMichael A WoodleyIan YoungGlenn ZurawNicole Zwiren
Comparative Study

Peer Review Versus Editorial Review and Their Role in Innovative Science

Georg Steinhauser et al. Theor Med Bioeth. .

Abstract

Peer review is a widely accepted instrument for raising the quality of science. Peer review limits the enormous unstructured influx of information and the sheer amount of dubious data, which in its absence would plunge science into chaos. In particular, peer review offers the benefit of eliminating papers that suffer from poor craftsmanship or methodological shortcomings, especially in the experimental sciences. However, we believe that peer review is not always appropriate for the evaluation of controversial hypothetical science. We argue that the process of peer review can be prone to bias towards ideas that affirm the prior convictions of reviewers and against innovation and radical new ideas. Innovative hypotheses are thus highly vulnerable to being "filtered out" or made to accord with conventional wisdom by the peer review process. Consequently, having introduced peer review, the Elsevier journal Medical Hypotheses may be unable to continue its tradition as a radical journal allowing discussion of improbable or unconventional ideas. Hence we conclude by asking the publisher to consider re-introducing the system of editorial review to Medical Hypotheses.

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