Peer review is the elephant in the room that everyone is refusing to acknowledge. I have been rallying against it (please do look up my previous posts here).
The retractions don’t bode well for science and it would require enormous resources to cross check. Instead, the groups working on similar problems should sink in resources and common ground to publish observations with clear guidelines on authorship. There is a nagging doubt that journals have become a mouthpiece for the pharma driven agendas (and dubious promises). The stakes are too high, indeed. Journals draw their “prestige” from perceptions and they would fight tooth and nail to avoid their perceptional failure.
Peer review is supposed to safeguard the quality of scientific research. When a journal receives a manuscript, the editors ask three or more experts in the field for comments. The reviewers’ written assessments may force revisions in a paper or prompt the journal to reject the work altogether. The system, widely adopted by medical journals in the middle of the 20th century, undergirds scientific discourse around the world.The Pandemic Claims New Victims: Prestigious Medical Journals – The New York Times