Published: 26 April 2016
Author(s): Paolo Vercellini, Laura Buggio, Paola Viganò, Edgardo Somigliana
Issue: April 2016

Published medical research influences health care providers and policy makers, guides patient management, and is based on the peer review process. Peer review should prevent publication of unreliable data and improve study reporting, but there is little evidence that these aims are fully achieved. In the blinded systems, authors and readers do not know the reviewers' identity. Moreover, the reviewers' reports are not made available to readers. Anonymous peer review poses an ethical imbalance toward authors, who are judged by masked referees, and to the medical community and society at large, in case patients suffer the consequences of acceptance of flawed manuscripts or erroneous rejection of important findings.

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