The aims of peer review

Throughout its existence, peer review has dealt with a wide variety of expectations. Whereas the system was initially established as a form of quality-guarantee, it later responded to concerns regarding inequality in science, the efficiency of the publication system and a perceived increase in the number of cases of scientific misconduct. 

Currently, one can distinguish four main purposes or expectations of the system: (i) the assurance of quality and accuracy of research, (ii) the establishment of a hierarchy of published work, (iii) the providence of fair and equal opportunities to all actors, and (iv) the assurance of a fraud-free research record (Horbach & Halffman, forthcoming).