I am interested in what is the role of peer review in journals. I have read the wikipedia page which discuss much about style and criticism but few to purpose. I don't know if initially it already came with comments to improve articles (more in favor of peer review for increase the quality of articles) or where simple recommendations to editors to not printing an article (in favor of filtering articles).
I am curious because my first contact with peer review history is the anecdote of an Einstein article beeing peer reviewed and Einstein refusing the review around 1905.
There were three main factors of adopting peer review as listed on a post:
- The increasing specialization of science
- The enormous increase in the number of scientific papers being published
- There are technologies for copying papers
It seems that increasing the number of journals (and having less/no general journals) could have solved those problems. (which may indeed happened)
However it is unclear to me the purpose of the peer review. Is peer review (or/and was) used to increase quality of articles published in journals? Or "simply" to filter out articles to keep few (and more important) articles per issue of the more specialized journals?
Of course peer review might be doing both effects and having both purposes.