Panels of experts convened to judge the work of other researchers - the process of peer review - often works better in theory than reality, according to an article in The New York Times.

The article cited research reporting considerable evidence that many statistical and methodological errors were common in published papers and that authors often failed to discuss the limitations of their findings.

Press releases that journals issue to steer journalists to report peer reviewed papers often exaggerate the perceived importance of findings and fail to highlight important caveats and conflicts of interest, according to the Times.