Many date editorial peer review to the 1752 Royal Society of London’s use of a “Committee on Papers” to oversee the review of text for publication in the journal Philosophical Transactions. Initially, peer review was created to help editors decide what to publish. In the twentieth century it evolved into a system in which qualified peers not only judge publication merit but also evaluate the quality of scientific work including grant applications, conference proposals, books, and academic personnel actions. Today, it is the major tool in scientific self-regulation. It is often undertaken double ‘blinded’ so that reviewers do not know the names of those they review and vice versa. Peer reviewers names for undertaking specific tasks are often expected to be confidential.
KeywordsPeer review Self-governance
Additional Suggested Reading
- Walker R, da Silva PR. Emerging trends in peer review – a survey. Front Neurosci. 2015;9(109):1–18. (New channels of pre- and post-publication review are described.) Google Scholar
- Vercellini P, Buggio L, Vigano P, Somigliana E. Peer review in medical journals: beyond quality of reports towards transparency and public scrutiny of the process. Eur J Intern Med. 2016;31:15–9. (A number of measures could be instituted to improve peer review, including instituting more transparency.)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar