the effects of subjective and objective decision making in scientific peer review,
by Park, Peacey & Munafò, Nature Vol. 506, pp.
The paper is paywalled, but I contacted one of the authors, and he kindly sent me a copy. Here are a few quotes:
“[I]ncreased popularity of a particular research theme reduces the reliability of published results... the convergence of research interest on a current hot topic may serve to undermine the reliability and veracity of subsequently published findings.”
“[H]erding leads to one outcome being preferable over another [and may drive] convergence on an incorrect decision. This is particularly problematic if an outsider to the process is unaware that it is taking place, as it gives a spurious sense of certainty to the observed convergence.”
“Knowledge in scientific research is often highly diffuse, across individuals and groups, and publishing and peer-review models should attempt to capture this.”