Peer review is a quality-control mechanism for scientific research. Researchers are incentivized to publish the findings of their research in academic journals. The editor of the journal recruits a team of expert reviewers (peers) who will comment on the validity of the science as well as the originality and significance of the research. They make a recommendation about whether to publish or reject the paper.
Benefits of peer review:
- Disagreement forces researchers to develop a more convincing case
- Spurs the generation of new evidence and further research
- More careful attention to best practices ensure better data sets
- Dissenting opinions can prompt researchers to review evidence, not in agreement with their hypothesis that may have been dismissed as artifacts (avoiding confirmation bias)