Trust, but verify—this is what editors ask for, and what readers expect, from reviewers of technical articles. As a reviewer, I am growing concerned with the level of trust requested by authors of submitted manuscripts, and the frequent lack of verifiable data and methods. Negative reports in the press [e.g., New York Times, 2005] attest to the worst-case outcomes of such shortcomings.
Certainly novelty and merit must be present in a manuscript, but authors should also include the empirical and theoretical technical bases used to support their findings and conclusions. Where fundamental elements of the scientific analysis are alluded to but are not included either explicitly or by reference, the reviewer should recommend that the article be accepted for publication only after those shortcomings have been remedied.