Cases of compromised integrity related to peer review
However, in some cases peer review may actually be a constitutive factor of academic misconduct.
An issue of increasing concern to editors, publishers and researchers alike is the submission of fake peer review reports (Dyer, 2015; Gao & Zhou, 2017). Fake peer reviews may arrive when journals rely on authors’ suggestions for suitable reviewers. In such cases authors may provide fake email addresses or make up reviewer names in order to receive an invitation to review their own paper. Over the last years, this has been one of the major sources for retractions according to RetractionWatch (Stern, 2017).
In addition, peer review, especially those forms which are heavily focused on relevance and potential impact of the manuscript under review, may incentivize authors to cut corners or to reach for spectacular results. This has lead journals to alter their peer review process and to increasingly focus on potential breaches of integrity in submitted manuscripts.