Mycol Discovery Seminar

Opinion of Scientific Peer Reviewed in Crisis

The publication of a scientific study in a peer-reviewed journal is commonly recognized as a kind of “nobilitation” of the study that confirms its worth.  The peer-review process was designed to assure the validity and quality of science that seeks publication. This is not always the case.  If and when peer review fails, sloppy science gets published.

According to a recent analysis published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, about 67 percent of 2047 studies retracted from biomedical and life-science journals (as of May 3, 2012) resulted from scientific misconduct.  However, the same PNAS study indicated that about 21 percent of the retractions were attributed to a scientific error.  This indicates that failures in peer-review led to the publication of studies that shouldn’t have passed muster.  This relatively low number of studies published in error (ca. 436) might be the tip of a larger iceberg, caused by the unwillingness of the editors to take an action.

Peer review is clearly an imperfect process, to say the least.  Shoddy reviewing or reviewers have allowed subpar science into the literature.  We hear about some of these oversights when studies are retracted due to “scientific error.”  Really, the error in these cases lies with reviewers, who should have caught such mistakes or deceptions in their initial review of the research.  But journal editors are also to blame for not sufficiently using their powers to retract scientifically erroneous studies.

There are some drugs that are beneficial but you should do your homework as to what is good and bad.  Read the label and do research and get opinions.  Recommended that you join a disease support group(s) in your town, hospital, church or community to find out more from others who have your same disease. This is one of the best resources. We find the most objective of disease support groups are those with food allergies, celiac disease or diabetes, in that most of them have or had other chronic and or debilitating diseases.