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Peer Review under the Microscope

One journal's experiment aims to change science vetting

This September, physicist Sergey Kravchenko of Northeastern University in Boston did something that scientists do hundreds of times over the course of their careers: He and his colleagues submitted their latest research findings to a scientific journal. The researchers had performed a study that they say experimentally verifies a theory on how electrons interact in semiconductors. They submitted their report to the prestigious journal Nature.

Getting findings published, either on paper or on the Web, is the final step in entering a researcher's work into the scientific record. To make sure that the research is worthy of joining this hallowed collection, most journals use a method called peer review.

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