TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Monday, March 31, 2008

Chronicle of Higher Education on Peer Review Discovery

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a story (link will explode in five days), quoting me, about Pfizer's efforts to obtain discovery into the peer review process.  It is a better story than most, in my view, in terms of recognizing the potentially overblown (but not baseless) predictions of doom raised by journal editors.  As the story notes, but just to be sure it's clear, I have done work for pharma companies, though not Pfizer.


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Is there not a policy argument favoring full disclosure of all criticism of a scientific article?

1) It may have gotten taxpayer funding, and belongs in the public domain.

2) Peer review may bring up objections not likely from a lay reader. One would like to know if all objections got addressed in the final version.

3) What duty of confidentiality does a journal have to either its authors, whose work it openly publishes? What duty of confidentiality does it have to its reviewers, since it shows their remarks to the target of any criticism, the article authors? The NEJM is a propaganda organ of a quasi-governmental, left wing, hypocritical organization, the Mass Med Society. It has the power to put doctors on trial. It regulates the practice of medicine. Its policy pronouncements influence legislative and judicial decisions. It receives tax exemption. Does the Mass Open Meeting Law apply to its deliberation records?

If the article is used against a party, the reviewers comments are non-testifying expert opinion preceding litigation. No established privilege prevents the review of its candid, pre-litigation opinions.

If an article relates to a legal matter, it should get submitted for scrutiny. Otherwise, the cover up violates the fair hearing portion of procedural process of the defendant. This case should get dismissed because irremediable bias of this decision.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 31, 2008 9:14:29 PM

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