Peer review in hematopoietic cell transplantation: are we doing our fair share?

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Peer review is believed to be important in maintaining the quality and integrity of research in academic endeavors. Recently, the value of the current peer review process, which is more than 100 years old has come into question. In the field of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), peer review was unable to prevent the publication of the largest and most notorious scientific fraud in our field. In order to assess how the HCT community views and how engaged it is with the peer review process, the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation conducted a survey of all of its members in 2014. The survey was sent to all active members through multiple email communications in August and September 2014. Of a total of 1183 members, 149 responded. Almost all of the respondents had participated in the peer review process, with few respondents declining ever to review manuscripts. The most common cause for declining review requests was lack of time. Most respondents (68%) thought that the current peer review process was relatively fair and unbiased, whereas only 9% of the respondents stated that they did not believe in the peer review process. In conclusion, among the respondents of this survey most felt the peer review process to be valuable and fair, however, the lack of response suggests that further study into improving the peer review process in the field of HCT is warranted in the era of electronic publishing and communication.

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