Do you think it is important for the published results of scientific studies to be peer reviewed? Why or why not?

It is important for the published results of scientific studies to be peer reviewed to self-monitor scientific work.

Expert Answers

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While you may certainly argue either way regarding this question, the peer review process has been and continues to be a cornerstone of scientific work. The peer review process has been an important part of science for many years, but its importance has been questioned in recent years. Some people believe that the prevalence of electronic media allows anybody and everybody the ability to freely publish what they want. The general reader is then asked to decide on whether or not the information is of scientific value. Let's be clear: this is a form of review; however, it is not a "peer review" in the scientific sense. Peer reviews are conducted by other scientists and researchers that are knowledgeable about the content and/or scientific methodologies. These peer reviews often strengthen the research because they call for certain parts of the study to be redone under tighter controls. When results of a study have been peer reviewed, and the peer reviews can't disprove the results, this gives additional strength and validity to the claims being made in the research. It's when we can't disprove something that we actually get closer to the truth about something, and highly skilled peer reviewers are the best people equipped to make sure that scientific results are highly accurate and indeed getting us closer to the truth.

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This question is asking for your personal opinion regarding this matter. You may feel free to argue either way.

My personal opinion is that it would be good to write a response that discusses both sides of the issue. This kind of response would include a thesis statement that alerts the reader to the fact that both sides of the argument are valid but that one is better than the other. For example, the thesis statement could be something like the following: "Although the peer review process has its limitations, it is still a valuable part of the scientific process." This thesis statement will allow your paper to explore the weaknesses of the peer review process while steering the reader to believe that despite the weaknesses, peer reviews are still important.

A peer review exists to assess the validity, accuracy, and/or quality of the published results. Peer reviews don't exist to ruin a particular article. They exist to preserve the integrity of the scientific process. Peer reviews serve to make sure the science is being done (or was done) properly. If a scientist and/or a researcher knows that his or her work is going to be peer reviewed, that scientist is further motivated to follow proper procedures and produce and submit high-quality work. Peer reviews protect the scientific process by encouraging those doing the work to do it well.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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