Peer (and brothers) review? Ethical challenges in author-proposed peer-reviewers

Published: 18 August 2017
Author(s): P. Charlier, E.D. Al-Chaer, F. Bou Abdallah, C. Massaad, C. Hervé
Issue: August 2017
Section: Letter to the Editor

The EJIM has recently published a few articles/letters on peer review [1–4], which lead us to ask further methodological and ethical questions: mainly, is it legitimate for an author submitting an article online for publication in a biomedical journal to propose reviewers for that same article? The risk of an evaluation bias is immense, with the possibility of suggesting - as reviewers - friends, colleagues or even family members. The potential for bias, even abuse, persists despite checking, at a later stage of the submission process, a box of compliance with the ethical criteria of publications according to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).