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Criticism of peer review and ways to improve it

Issue: 39(1) February 2013. Essays Pages 8 – 10

Hasan Shareef Ahmed
Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC, Dhaka, Bangladesh; [email protected]

Armen Yuri Gasparyan
Departments of Rheumatology and Research and Development, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham, UK), Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, West Midlands, UK; [email protected]


This paper reviews some critical aspects of peer review in developed and developing countries. Though the peer review process is criticised for some of its drawbacks, it is still widely accepted as a tool for preserving the integrity and quality of scholarly communication. Peer review varies widely across journals and countries. Many developing and some developed countries suffer from substandard and biased peer review mainly due to the lack of training in peer review. The peer review process is still slow, expensive, poor in detecting scientific misconduct, and open to abuse. It needs reforming to make it more effective worldwide.


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