Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 265–283 | Cite as

The Game Between a Biased Reviewer and His Editor

  • J. A. GarcíaEmail author
  • Rosa Rodriguez-Sánchez
  • J. Fdez-Valdivia
Original Paper


This paper shows that, for a large range of parameters, the journal editor prefers to delegate the choice to review the manuscript to the biased referee. If the peer review process is informative and the review reports are costly for the reviewers, even biased referees with extreme scientific preferences may choose to become informed about the manuscript’s quality. On the contrary, if the review process is potentially informative but the reviewer reports are not costly for the referees, the biased reviewer has no incentive to become informed about the manuscript. Furthermore, if the reports are costly for referees but the peer review processes are not potentially informative, the biased reviewers will never become informed. In this paper, we also present a web resource that helps editors to experiment with the review process as a device for information transmission.


Peer review Bias Reviewers Editors Information Cost Informed opinion Game theory 



This research was sponsored by the Spanish Board for Science, Technology, and Innovation under Grant TIN2017-85542-P, and co-financed with European FEDER funds.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencias de la Computación e I. A., CITIC-UGRUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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