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 Short Description

Changes in scholarly publishing have resulted in a move toward openness. To this end, new, open models of peer review are emerging. While the scholarly literature has examined and discussed open peer review, no established definition of it exists, nor are there uniform implementations of open peer review processes. This article examines the literature discussing open peer review, identifies common open peer review definitions, and describes eight common characteristics of open peer review: signed review, disclosed review, editor-mediated review, transparent review, crowdsourced review, prepublication review, synchronous review, and post-publication review. This article further discusses benefits and challenges to the scholarly publishing community posed by open peer review, and concludes that open peer review can and should exist within the current scholarly publishing paradigm.

 Short Description

Changes in scholarly publishing have resulted in a move toward openness. To this end, new, open models of peer review are emerging. While the scholarly literature has examined and discussed open peer review, no established definition of it exists, nor are there uniform implementations of open peer review processes. This article examines the literature discussing open peer review, identifies common open peer review definitions, and describes eight common characteristics of open peer review: signed review, disclosed review, editor-mediated review, transparent review, crowdsourced review, prepublication review, synchronous review, and post-publication review. This article further discusses benefits and challenges to the scholarly publishing community posed by open peer review, and concludes that open peer review can and should exist within the current scholarly publishing paradigm.

The studies presented in this section investigated dissemination to the public from the researchers’ and public engagement enablers’ point of view. The first, “Factors affecting public engagement by researchers” came out of a project by the UK consortium TNS-BMRB & PSI, and represents an update to an earlier project by the Royal Society in 2006. 

Authors

Susan van Rooyen, Fiona Godlee, Stephen Evans, Nick Black, Richard Smith

Short Description

Objectives: To examine the effect on peer review of asking reviewers to have their identity revealed to the authors of the paper.
Design: Randomised trial. Consecutive eligible papers were sent to two reviewers who were randomised to have their identity revealed to the authors or to remain anonymous. Editors and authors were blind to the intervention.
Main outcome measures: The quality of the reviews was independently rated by two editors and the corresponding author using a validated instrument. Additional outcomes were the time taken to complete the review and the recommendation regarding publication. A questionnaire survey was undertaken of the authors of a cohort of manuscripts submitted for publication to find out their views on open peer review.

 Short Description

Together with tenure, peer review is probably the most distinctive feature of the modern academic system. Peer review, we are told, sets academia apart from all other professions by construing value through peer judgment, not market dynamics. Given the remarkable epistemological and symbolic burden placed on peer review, it is surprising to find that so little research has analyzed it either empirically (in its actual daily practices) or philosophically (as one of the conditions of possibility of academic knowledge). While academics discuss it quite frequently, they do not frame it as an intellectual subject. Instead, they either confine it to private conversations or treat it as one of the practical aspects of the profession. Typically, peer review comes up in the context of personal complaints about the perceived incompetence (or other unflattering traits) of editors and referees. But when the dust settles, it is not uncommon to hear appreciative remarks for the referees’ time-consuming and unpaid contributions, or to see them thanked in the acknowledgments.

 Short description

The traditional forms of scientific publishing and peer review do not live up to all demands of efficient communication and quality assurance in today’s highly diverse and rapidly evolving world of science. They need to be advanced and complemented by interactive and transparent forms of review, publication, and discussion that are open to the scientific community and to the public. The advantages of open access, public peer review, and interactive discussion can be efficiently and flexibly combined with the strengths of traditional scientific peer review.

Authors: Markus Helmer, Manuel Schottdorf, Andreas Neef, Demian Battaglia 
Authors

Carole J. Lee, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Guo Zhang, Blaise Cronin

Short Description

Peer review is the cornerstone of scholarly publishing and it is essential that peer reviewers are appointed on the basis of their expertise alone. However, it is difficult to check for any bias in the peer-review process because the identity of peer reviewers generally remains confidential. Here, using public information about the identities of 9000 editors and 43000 reviewers from the Frontiers series of journals, we show that women are underrepresented in the peer-review process, that editors of both genders operate with substantial same-gender preference (homophily), and that the mechanisms of this homophily are gender-dependent. We also show that homophily will persist even if numerical parity between genders is reached, highlighting the need for increased efforts to combat subtler forms of gender bias in scholarly publishing.

 Short Description

Openness is one of the central values of science. Open scientific practices such as sharing data, materials and analysis scripts alongside published articles have many benefits, including easier replication and extension studies, increased availability of data for theory-building and meta-analysis, and increased possibility of review and collaboration even after a paper has been published. Although modern information technology makes sharing easier than ever before, uptake of open practices had been slow. We suggest this might be in part due to a social dilemma arising from misaligned incentives and propose a specific, concrete mechanism—reviewers withholding comprehensive review—to achieve the goal of creating the expectation of open practices as a matter of scientific principle.

 Short Description

“Open peer review” (OPR), despite being a major pillar of Open Science, has neither a standardized definition nor an agreed schema of its features and implementations. The literature reflects this, with numerous overlapping and contradictory definitions. While for some the term refers to peer review where the identities of both author and reviewer are disclosed to each other, for others it signifies systems where reviewer reports are published alongside articles. For others it signifies both of these conditions, and for yet others it describes systems where not only “invited experts” are able to comment. For still others, it includes a variety of combinations of these and other novel methods. 

Short Description

This paper presents the findings from a survey study of UK academics and their publishing behaviour. The aim of this study is to investigate academics’ attitudes towards and practice of open access (OA) publishing. The results are based on a survey study of academics at 12 Russell Group universities, and reflect responses from over 1800 researchers. This study found that whilst most academics support the principle of making knowledge freely available to everyone, the use of OA publishing among UK academics was still limited despite relevant established OA policies. The results suggest that there were differences in the extent of OA practice between different universities, academic disciplines, age and seniorities. Academics’ use in OA publishing was also related to their awareness of OA policy and OA repositories, their attitudes towards the importance of OA publishing and their belief in OA citation advantage. The implications of these findings are relevant to the development of strategies for the implementation of OA policies. 

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