B – How a pre-publication review may affect the rate of scientific progress

Shrager J. The promise and perils of pre-publication review: a multi-agent simulation of biomedical discovery under varying levels of review stringency. PLoS One 2010;5(5):e10782
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010782)

The Internet has enabled profound changes in the way science is performed especially in scientific communications, it has raisen new possibilities but also the potential for new problems.
A web-based review process must be carefully designed to allow for easy filtering of publications based upon their review type and quality. The author used a multi-agent simulation of treatment selection and outcome in a patient population to examine how various levels of pre-publication review might accelerate or hinder the scientific progress. The results certainly do not answer the specific question but show that both completely unreviewed and very strictly reviewed scientific communication seems likely to hinder scientific progress. Then, this relatively simple model suggests general principles and reveals interesting phenomena for further analysis.