Issue Date: March 10, 2008
Is Peer Review Honest?
Protestations of those at the top of the food chain notwithstanding, I suspect that the problem with reviewer abuse is real (C&EN, Feb. 11, page 48). The funding climate for science in the past couple of decades has produced an environment in which the temptation to abuse only increases. The first abuse a new Ph.D. faces is tenure abuse. This is particularly a problem at schools with lesser reputations, where many long-tenured faculty who have published little, if at all, in decades, sit in judgment over people whose records, when viewed objectively, are better than theirs. I know a troubling number of people who have experienced this. And it spreads out from there.
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