Journal of Academic Ethics

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 181–188 | Cite as

Promoting F.A.I.T.H. in Peer Review: Five Core Attributes of Effective Peer Review

  • Leigh Turner


Peer review is an important component of scholarly research. Long a “black box” whose practical mechanisms were unknown to researchers and readers, peer review is increasingly facing demands for accountability and improvement. Numerous studies address empirical aspects of the peer review process. Much less consideration is typically given to normative dimensions of peer review. This paper considers what authors, editors, reviewers, and readers ought to expect from the peer review process. Integrity in the review process is vital if various parties are to have trust, or faith, in the credibility of peer review mechanisms. Trust in the quality of peer review can increase or diminish in response to numerous factors. Five core elements of peer review are identified. Constitutive elements of scholarly peer review include: fairness in critical analysis of manuscripts; the selection of appropriate reviewers with relevant expertise; identifiable, publicly accountable reviewers; timely reviews, and helpful critical commentary. The F.A.I.T.H. model provides a basis for linking conceptual analysis of the core norms of peer review with empirical research into the adequacy and effectiveness of various processes of peer review. The model is intended to describe core elements of high-quality peer review and suggest what factors can foster or hinder trust in the integrity of peer review.

academic research accountability fairness peer review 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leigh Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Biomedical Ethics Unit, Department of Social Studies of Medicine, Faculty of MedicineMcGill University and Montreal General HospitalMontrealCanada

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