Link: Referee troubles

less than 1 minute read

Leonid Schneider posts a fairly typically depressing story from a peer referee from Frontiers in Neuroscience. The story is basically an editor pressuring the referee to accept a paper, and the go-rounds are described by the referee.

I thought the story worth linking for this passage from the introduction to the story, which put some concerns succinctly:

In a kind of a vicious circle, this peer review secrecy is a direct invitation to rig it even more. Editors tend to assign friendly reviewers according to authors’ eminence, while peer reviewer conflicts of interests are routinely disregarded, since no one will ever find out anyway. In the same vein, scientists who made themselves some powerful enemies will see their manuscripts destroyed by unreasonable and aggressive peer review. They often naively hope the editor was decent enough not to invite those same adversaries whom the authors specifically asked to be excluded.