The month ahead in science

Anjana Ahuja on peer review, Mercury and the paranormal

By Anjana Ahuja   180

Parliament has announced an inquiry into peer review, the sometimes controversial process by which scientific papers are vetted for publication. The Commons science and technology committee has revealed that the inquiry would investigate, among other things, how reviewers are chosen and whether there are alternative methods of gauging research. Peer review is seen as the gold standard for publication but its reputation is not untarnished: the MMR vaccine scare was unleashed thanks to a 1998 Lancet paper that its own editors now admit should never have been published. Interested parties have until 10th March to submit evidence.

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