Ethics of reviewing scientific publications

Federica Napolitani, Carlo Petrini, Silvio Garattini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction The approval or rejection of scientific publications can have important consequences for scientific knowledge, so considerable responsibility lies on those who have to assess or review them. Today it seems that the peer review process, far from being considered an outdated system to be abandoned, is experiencing a new upturn. Aim and methods This article proposes criteria for the conduct of reviewers and of those who select them. While commenting on new emerging models, it provides practical recommendations for improving the peer-review system, like strengthening the role of guidelines and training and supporting reviewers. Conclusions The process of peer review is changing, it is getting more open and collaborative, but those same ethical principles which guided it from its very origin should remain untouched and be firmly consolidated. The paper highlights how the ethics of reviewing scientific publications is needed now more than ever, in particular with regard to competence, conflict of interest, willingness to discuss decisions, complete transparency and integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-25
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • Ethics
  • Peer-review
  • Scientific research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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