Callaham M, McCulloch C. Longitudinal trends in the performance of scientific peer reviewers. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2011;57(2):141-148
Editors at the Annals of Emerging Medicine rated the quality of every review performed by journal's reviewers during a 14-year longitudinal study. Results demonstrated slow but steady deterioration of most peer reviewers' performance on validated quality scores for article assessment over the years. This performance is consistent with studies of performance over time in disciplines other than medicine. The findings should persuade editors of the need to track reviewer quality, directing reviews to the upper tier of reviewers and avoiding the lowest.