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Reliability of Peer Review

When scientists at the biotechnology firm Amgen attempted to reproduce the findings of 53 peer-reviewed papers about cancer drugs, what portion of these studies were they able to confirm?

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In 2012, the journal Nature published a study by Amgen scientists who had attempted to reproduce the findings of 53 prominent peer-reviewed papers that present results of lab experiments related to cancer drugs. The scientists were able to confirm 11% of these studies, despite the fact that "when findings could not be reproduced, an attempt was made to contact the original authors, discuss the discrepant findings, exchange reagents and repeat experiments under the authors' direction, occasionally even in the laboratory of the original investigator." Although peer-reviewed research is considered to be the "gold standard" of scientific credibility, peer-reviewed journals have retracted thousands of papers due to errors, plagiarism, and outright fraud.

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