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Is it time for another enquiry on Peer Review?

Discussion in 'Research methodology news and research' started by Sly Saint, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    No recent news article on this but thought given all the recent 'new treatments' popping up and dodgy research papers it is worth discussion.

    I found this interesting article from the Guardian (Sept 2011).
    Publish-or-perish: Peer review and the corruption of science | David Colquhoun
    "But it isn't only quack journals that have failures in peer review. In June, the British Journal of General Practice published a paper, "Acupuncture for 'frequent attenders' with medically unexplained symptoms: a randomised controlled trial (CACTUS study)". It has lots of numbers, but the result is very easy to see."

    It's obvious at a glance that acupuncture has at best a tiny and erratic effect on any of the outcomes that were measured. The results are indeed quite interesting because they show that acupuncture doesn't even have a perceptible placebo effect. But this is not what the authors said. Their conclusion was: "The addition of 12 sessions of five-element acupuncture to usual care resulted in improved health status and wellbeing that was sustained for 12 months."

    How on earth did the group, led by Charlotte Paterson at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at Exeter University, manage to reach a conclusion like that? Well, perhaps they were people who are committed to acupuncture and it is common enough for advocates of alternative medicine to ignore evidence, even their own. But the real question is how conclusions like these came to be published in a respectable medical journal that is widely read by GPs. To make matters worse, the journal issued a press release."

    It's a shame they have not been as robust in their criticisms with PACE, SMILE etc


    there was a Parliamentary enquiry in 2011 http://www.parliament.uk/business/c...d-technology-committee/inquiries/peer-review/

    Maybe it's time for another?
    Cheshire, Esther12, EzzieD and 2 others like this.
  2. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    The faith some people still seem to have in peer-review amazes me.
    Trish likes this.

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