• 26 FEB 13
    • 0

    Scientific Peer Review in Crisis: The case of the Danish Cohort

    From Dariusz Lesczynski’s blog Between a Rock and a Hard Place

    Today The Scientist Magazine published my opinion-piece: OPINION: Scientific Peer Review in Crisis Case of the Danish Cohort Full article available here I am hoping that the editors of the British Medical Journal will finally take action.


    The publication of a scientific study in a peer-reviewed journal is commonly recognized as a kind of “nobilitation” of the study that confirms its worth. The peer-review process was designed to assure the validity and quality of science that seeks publication. This is not always the case. If and when peer review fails, sloppy science gets published.

    According to a recent analysis published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, about 67 percent of 2047 studies retracted from biomedical and life-science journals (as of May 3, 2012) resulted from scientific misconduct. However, the same PNAS study indicated that about 21 percent of the retractions were attributed to a scientific error. This indicates that failures in peer-review led to the publication of studies that shouldn”t have passed muster. This relatively low number of studies published in error (ca. 436) might be the tip of a larger iceberg, caused by the unwillingness of the editors to take an action.

    Link to the full article here

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