Peer reviewers—time for mass rebellion? – The BMJ

“I have long argued, based on evidence, that prepublication peer review is useless. There is almost no evidence of the effectiveness of peer review but substantial evidence that it is slow, expensive, poor at detecting errors, largely a lottery, prone to bias and abuse, unable to guard against fraud, and anti-innovatory in that it tends to reject truly original research. If it was a drug, the saying goes, it would never be approved….

The time has come for peer reviewers to rebel, but what is it we want? My preference would be that we refuse to review unless the review is of a paper that is already posted for all to see and that our reviews are also immediately posted for all to see. I can see, however, that this might be scary for young or new reviewers, so they should insist on a proper payment or some other real reward, not, for example, being listed along with a hundred others once a year in the journal, a certificate, or the offer of a discount on buying the publisher’s books or journals….”