When reviews attack: Ethics, free speech, and the peer review process.
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The peer review process, whether formally applied in publication and grant review, or informally, such as exchange of ideas in scientific and professional newsgroups, has sparked controversy. Writers in this area agree that scholarly reviews that are inappropriate in tone are not uncommon. Indeed, commentators have suggested rules and guidelines that can be used to improve the review process and to make reviewers more accountable. In this paper, we examine the relevance and impact of ethical codes on the conduct of peer review. It is our contention that the peer review process can be improved, not by a new set of rules but through closer attention to the ethical principles to which we, as psychologists, already subscribe.
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