Are Peer Reviewers as Brutal as Claimed?

Most scholars are familiar with peer review; the sometimes brutal system by which academic work is judged. The COVID-19 pandemic has even mainstreamed this process, with media outlets commenting on unreviewed preprints with warnings that work has “not yet undergone peer review”. Yet few venues, over the past two decades, have done more to challenge the way that peer review works than the Public Library of Science’s PLOS ONE title.

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