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Nutrition, Dietetics, 3.3 HEALTH SCIENCES


The diverse nature of the reviews included in this issue of Nutrition Research Reviews highlights a problem that is becoming increasingly acute for journal editors, namely that of finding suitable reviewers (especially for the more esoteric manuscripts) who are prepared to devote some of their time and expertise to this crucial task. Peer-review underpins the whole ethos of scientific journal publishing as we currently know it. Without it, readers have little guarantee that the published material is credible, which in turn casts the authors in a dubious light, and with them the editors and publishers of the journals; the whole publishing endeavour is then in danger of losing objectivity and hence value (both academic and financial). There is of course increasing pressure on researchers to publish (now even more acute in the current economic climate if they are to attract ever-scarcer funding) which has led to increasing article submission rates to the reputable journals, and an increased headache for their editors who find themselves sending out more and more requests to potential reviewers who seem less and less able to say ‘yes’. The law of diminishing returns has definitely set in, but it hardly needs to be said that because the reviewers are themselves authors, they will inevitably suffer themselves from the lack of peerreview. Thus would-be authors are advised to contemplate the fact that if they do not feed into the system at both points, that is as authors and reviewers, the scope for publishing in a career-enhancing manner (i.e. in a reputable peer-reviewed journal) will ultimately dry up.