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The ethics of peer review in bioethics
  1. David Wendler,
  2. Franklin Miller
  1. Department of Bioethics, NIH Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Wendler, Department of Bioethics, NIH Clinical Center, 10/1C118, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; dwendler{at}


A good deal has been written on the ethics of peer review, especially in the scientific and medical literatures. In contrast, we are unaware of any articles on the ethics of peer review in bioethics. Recognising this gap, we evaluate the extant proposals regarding ethical standards for peer review in general and consider how they apply to bioethics. We argue that scholars have an obligation to perform peer review based on the extent to which they personally benefit from the peer review process. We also argue, contrary to existing proposals and guidelines, that it can be appropriate for peer reviewers to benefit in their own scholarship from the manuscripts they review. With respect to bioethics in particular, we endorse double-blind review and suggest several ways in which the peer review process might be improved.

  • Publication Ethics

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