[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

New study on peer review in publishing


Bob Campbell, Publishing Research Consortium
Tel: +44 (0)1865 476118

Mark Ware
Tel:  +44 117 959 3726

Researchers want to improve, not change, Peer Review
London, UK. January 25, 2008

Most researchers are not in favour of changing the current system 
of peer review for journal articles;  they believe that it helps 
to improve scientific communications and increases the overall 
quality of published papers.  Alternatives such as 'open peer 
review' (where papers are available for public comment prior to 
publication') were not popular in a new study of over 3,000 
senior authors, reviewers, and editors from around the world. 
However, some were interested in post-publication review, where a 
published paper is opened up for public comment, as a useful 
supplement to, but not a replacement for, traditional peer 

Researchers did, however, prefer double-blind review (where both 
reviewers and authors are unaware of each other's identity) to 
the currently prevalent single-blind system (where only the 
reviewer is anonymous), seeing this as a way to improve both 
objectivity and fairness. A majority of reviewers and editors 
also said it would be desirable to be able to review authors' 
data as part of peer review.

While of the majority of respondents saw peer review as an 
effective filter for research, some did not think it was 
effective at detecting plagiarism, fraud or misconduct.

The report, by Mark Ware Consulting, also underscored that the 
most productive reviewers are currently overworked, which is an 
area that may need further monitoring and analysis.

"Publishing peer review continues to be a hot-button topic within 
most disciplines," said Bob Campbell, Chairman, Steering Group of 
the Publishing Research Consortium and Senior Publisher, 
Wiley-Blackwell. "This study will help publishers better 
understand researchers' perceptions of peer review and underpin 
future discussions in the scholarly community."

"This is the first study of this size to look at peer review from 
the perspective of authors and reviewers," said Mark Ware, 
Director, Mark Ware Consulting. "This survey has produced a 
wealth of data that will inform the peer review debate and 
provide a platform for future studies."

The full report, "Peer Review in 
<http://www.publishingresearch.net/PeerReview.htm> Scholarly 
Journals: perspective of the scholarly community.  An 
international study", can be accessed on the PRC site at 
<http://www.publishingresearch.org.uk/>. A summary report, "Peer 
Review: Benefits, Perceptions, and Alternatives", is also 

About the Publishing Research Consortium

The Publishing Research Consortium is a group of associations and 
publishers, which supports global research into scholarly 
communication in order to enable evidence-based discussion.  Our 
objective is to support work that is scientific and 
pro-scholarship. Overall, we aim to promote an understanding of 
the role of publishing and its impact on research and teaching. 
For more information, visit 

Publishing Research Consortium
Email:  info@publishingresearch.net
Website:  www.publishingresearch.net