A series to raise awareness, encourage dialog and inspire creative problem solving for challenges in maintaining integrity in peer review.
What would you do if, as the Dean of Research at a major university, a group of students, postdocs, and junior faculty reported that they had been pressured into writing reviewer critiques for a senior faculty member?
This case study offers a useful opportunity to talk about inappropriate behaviour in peer review and how an institution’s policy would handle it.
Dr Lee, Dean of Research at a major research university, received an anonymous, written complaint against Dr Williams, a Distinguished Professor in her university’s medical school. According to the complaint, Dr Williams was sharing NIH grant applications with members of his laboratory with requests for them to complete his written critiques as an NIH peer reviewer. The complaint indicated that Dr Williams also pressured junior, non-tenured faculty in the department to do the same. All had been instructed by Dr Williams not to disclose this practice or their evaluations to anyone else.