The Limited Effectiveness of Prestige as an Intervention on the Health of Medical Journal Publications


Lee, Carole J. “The Limited Effectiveness of Prestige as an Intervention on the Health of Medical Journal Publications.” Episteme 10 (2013): 387-402.

Under the traditional system of peer-reviewed publication, the degree of prestige conferred to authors by successful publication is tied to the degree of the intellectual rigor of its peer review process: ambitious scientists do well professionally by doing well epistemically. As a result, we should expect journal editors, in their dual role as epistemic evaluators and prestige-allocators, to have the power to motivate improved author behavior through the tightening of publication requirements. Contrary to this expectation, I will argue that the publication bias literature in academic medicine demonstrates that editor interventions have had limited effectiveness in improving the health of the publication and trial registration record, suggesting that much stronger interventions are needed.

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