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Is reviewers' demand for more experiments justified?

Sneha Kulkarni | Oct 31, 2014 | 90,384 views
Is reviewers' demand for more experiments justified?

Technology has accelerated the pace of science significantly. However, the pace at which papers are published has decreased over the decades. It takes several months to years for a researcher to publish a paper. One of the frequently cited reasons for the delay is peer reviewers’ demand for additional experimentation. Although such requests are reasonable since reviewers aim to ensure that authors’ claims are supported by evidence, often, this keeps good science from getting published sooner.

In most fields of science, authors are commonly asked by reviewers to perform further experiments. Solomon Snyder, a renowned neuropharmacologist, points out that the journal review process has become prolonged due to such demands for exhaustive experimentation and documentation. This practice discourages researchers from publishing their best ideas since gathering additional data involves added cost and time. Dr. Snyder says that at times, researchers preemptively conduct experiments anticipating reviewers’ suggestions, which can further postpone the paper’s publication. Researchers are under great pressure to get published and conducting reviewer-suggested experiments can have an adverse impact on researchers’ careers as well as prevent good research from reaching the public eye.

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