Despite wide recognition that nursing must increase its research base, there still appears not only to be a shortfall in published nursing research but also a marked failure to implement research findings into clinical practice One possible explanation for these problems is that nursing research may not be valued by peer professionals To investigate this possibility, a study was designed to test the hypothesis that nurses would underrate the quality of papers they believed to have been produced by a nurse as opposed to a doctor, even when the status of the authors was randomly assigned to the papers Thirty-one nurses were asked to rate two comparable papers on a number of criteria Half the sample was told that the first paper had been written by a nurse and the second by a doctor, for the remainder of the sample, the order of authorship was reversed A series of related t-tests was performed on the sample's evaluations in order to ascertain whether the status of the author affected perceptions of quality No difference was found in the sample's judgement of overall quality, clarity of expression, expertise on the topic in question or contribution to current knowledge However, significant differences were found in attributed grasp of research design and statistical analysis, with the nurse being judged as inferior on both (t= 171, df = 30, P < 005, t= 172, df = 30, P < 005 respectively) These results are partially explained in terms of gender influences in nursing and educational subject areas, an explanation reinforced by additional analyses of the data which suggested that the males in the sample did not assume inferior performance on the part of the nurse, and indeed judged clarity of expression, contribution to current knowledge and overall quality to be significantly better if the paper had been attributed to the nurse