Peer review is the worst form of manuscript assessment except for all the other forms that have been tried

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Wendy A Warr, Wendy Warr & Associates, 6 Berwick Court, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire CW4 7HZ, United Kingdom
"High quality, high impact" is the current mantra of ACS Publications but how does an editor define "high quality" and ensure that high standards are maintained? Peer review is only one part of the quality control process but it is the critical first step and it is inevitably subjective. Editors are only human and so are their reviewers. While protecting reviewers’ anonymity, this paper will briefly examine some of the practices and foibles of an editor and her reviewers, and will outline some lessons learned over the years. Early results of a more general study of the strengths and weaknesses of peer review in chemistry publishing will also be reported. With apologies to Winston Churchill, "No-one pretends that peer review is perfect or all-wise. Indeed...peer review is the worst form of assessment except for all the other forms that have been tried".