News Outlets Examine Pandemic’s Impacts On Medical Journals’ Peer Review Processes, Scientists’ Research Priorities

New York Times: The Pandemic Claims New Victims: Prestigious Medical Journals
“One study promised that popular blood-pressure drugs were safe for people infected with the coronavirus. Another paper warned that anti-malaria drugs endorsed by President Trump actually were dangerous to these patients. The studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet, were retracted shortly after publication, following an outcry from researchers who saw obvious flaws. The hasty retractions, on the same day this month, have alarmed scientists worldwide who fear that the rush for research on the coronavirus has overwhelmed the peer review process and opened the door to fraud, threatening the credibility of respected medical journals just when they are needed most. Peer review is supposed to safeguard the quality of scientific research. … Critics have long worried that the safeguards are cracking, and have called on medical journals to operate with greater transparency…” (Rabin, 6/14).

Quartz: Science will never be the same after Covid-19
“Scientists, like the rest of us, have abruptly abandoned their plans in the face of coronavirus. … The urgency of the pandemic has pushed many institutions to cast aside their established priorities, discarding samples, and redirecting manufacturing plants in the rush to reallocate resources. Coronavirus has subsumed their work. Quartz spoke with four major global institutions to highlight how scientists are pivoting to focus on COVID-19. … All four teams have made huge sacrifices as they’ve redirected their efforts…” (Goldhill, 6/14).

Additional coverage on studies examining the effectiveness of masks and physical distancing, as well as labs’ preparedness for the novel coronavirus, is available from The Guardian, Quartz, and Washington Post.

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