Peer review is an essential part of the modern scientific process. Sending manuscripts for others to scrutinize is such a widespread practice in academia that its importance cannot be overstated. Since the late eighteenth century, when the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society pioneered editorial review, virtually every scholarly outlet has adopted some sort of pre-publication assessment of received works. Although the specifics may vary, the procedure has remained largely the same since its inception: submit, receive anonymous criticism, revise, restart the process if required. A recent survey of APSA members indicates that political scientists overwhelmingly believe in the value of peer review (95%) and the vast majority of them (80%) think peer review is a useful tool to keep themselves up to date with cutting-edge research. But do these figures suggest that journal editors can rest upon their laurels and leave the system as it is? Not quite.
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