Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp 622–624

Effect of blinding and unmasking on the quality of peer review

  • Susan van Rooyen
  • Fiona Godlee
  • Stephen Evans
  • Richard Smith
  • Nick Black
Brief Report

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to see whether, in the opinion of authors, blinding or unmasking or a combination of the two affects the quality of reviews and to compare authors’ and editors’ assessments. In a trial conducted in the British Medical Journal, 527 consecutive manuscripts were randomized into one of three groups, and each was sent to two reviewers, who were randomized to receive a blinded or an unblinded copy of the manuscript. Review quality was assessed by two editors and the corresponding author. There was no significant difference in assessment between groups or between editors and authors. Reviews recommending publication were scored more highly than those recommending rejection.

Key words

peer review quality biomedical journal 

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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan van Rooyen
    • 1
  • Fiona Godlee
    • 1
  • Stephen Evans
    • 2
  • Richard Smith
    • 1
  • Nick Black
    • 2
  1. 1.BMJ Editorial, BMA House, Tavistock SquareLondonUK
  2. 2.London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK

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