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Why is peer review so important for quality assurance?

Scientists are well aware that the peer review process does not detect all quality gaps in a paper with certainty. Reviewers may not have adequate expertise, may not have sufficient time to thoroughly review the manuscript, or may have a conflict of interest (e.g., if they are researching the same scientific topic and are actually in competition with the author[s]) that affects their neutrality and opinion. Scientists know that peer review increases the quality of scientific publications, but that it is not a perfect process. The peer review process is based on trust that reviewers are fair, objective, independent, and reliable in their assessment and that editors themselves indicate possible bias. Despite its weaknesses, the peer review process has established and proven itself as a central element of quality assurance for scientific publications.