An Inside Look at NIH Peer Review

Scholarly peer review is the process by which a researcher’s work — grant applications and research articles — are subjected to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field. This process of evaluation requires a community of experts for a given field who are both qualified and able to perform impartial review. These experts recommend scholarly work for acceptance, revision or rejection. Although impartial review may be difficult to accomplish, it is generally considered essential to academic quality and is used in most important scientific publications. Peer review encourages researchers to meet the accepted standards of their discipline and prevents the dissemination of irrelevant findings, unjustified claims, unacceptable interpretations and personal views.