Reviewers were sometimes asked to look at 50 or more papers every year, for neither pay nor professional credit. Medical editors spent a significant portion of their time finding reviewers, sending out manuscripts, and reeling in responses. The back-and-forth created a bottleneck that could hold up publication for months. Worse, the peer-review system permitted all kinds of professional misconduct. The experts in the field who reviewed a paper were often an author's close friends or fierce competitors, and they were permitted to make judgments from behind closed doors. Competitors could plagiarize ideas or delay publication for self-serving reasons. They could also use their anonymity to farm out reviews to postdocs or grad students. Some journals propped up an old boy's network by allowing authors to select their own reviewers.