Swimming Australia officials have ordered an independent review into the team's poor showing at the London Olympics.

Australian athletes won a total of 10 medals in the pool - but only one gold, in the women's 4x100 metres freestyle relay.

Australia's swimmers won six gold medals in Beijing and seven in Athens, and the pressure is on to come up with answers to the lack of success in London.

"It is clear the world has lifted the bar when it comes to swimming and so must we," Swimming Australia president David Urquhart said in a statement.

The London haul was Australia's lowest since the Barcelona Games 20 years ago.

The last time Australia failed to win an individual swimming gold was at Montreal in 1976.

Sprinter James Magnussen, the world champion for 100m freestyle, bore the brunt of the criticism after boasting before the Games that he would win two golds.

But Magnussen had to settle for silver when he was beaten by American Nathan Adrian, by just 0.01 seconds, in the final.

The Australian 4x100 freestyle team, which also bragged it would win gold, missed out on the medals altogether when it finished fourth.

"There has been a lot said by people here in London and back at home about our overall medal performance," Urquhart said.

"While everyone is entitled to their own view, no-one should doubt the commitment or effort of our swimmers.

"This is not a time for blame and scapegoating, this is an opportunity to make the changes required to rise to the international challenge."

Urquhart said Australia always reviewed its results after an Olympics but it would also conduct a full probe in light of the team's below-par performance.

The review will be headed by coach Bill Sweetenham and two-time Olympic gold medallist Susie O'Neill.

"They will bring extensive knowledge and experience that will help Swimming Australia prepare for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games (in 2014) and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio," he said.

"This review will be independent and it will come to its own conclusions."

Reuters