Why is Open Peer Review Important for Science?

Jan 7, 2021 Ver este post en Español

Updated May 17th, 2022

Like Open Access and Open Data, open peer review is a crucial part of Open Science. Open Science aims to make scientific knowledge freely accessible and reusable for everyone worldwide, further encouraging collaborations and information sharing for the benefit of society.

Regardless of whether you’re a student, researcher, publisher, or worker, the goal is to steer clear of subscription-based models and instead promote innovative approaches to science.

Learn about peer review, the difference between it and open peer review, and why open peer review is important for science in this article.

How Does The Peer Review Process Work?

The peer-review process is a fundamental part of research publishing, ensuring that only high-quality papers and articles are published in journals. Journal editors often use peer review to validate a paper’s research methods and results. After a journal receives a paper, editors will conduct an initial screening to ensure the paper can be peer-reviewed. They will ask themselves the following questions:

  • Is the paper high-quality? Can it be sent for peer-review?
  • Does it follow the style guidelines and author instructions?
  • Does it conform to the journal’s aim and scope?
  • Does it make a significant contribution to the existing literature?

This initial screening ensures that a peer reviewer's time isn't wasted if the paper isn't up to the journal's standards. If it is up to standards, editors assign a peer-reviewer with enough subject-matter expertise for the paper. However, papers are often rejected from journals for various reasons; find out why and how you can prevent rejection here.

Sometimes, authors wait months before they know if the journal approves their paper. A peer review should typically take about three to four weeks to complete, with a highly technical or niche subject area paper taking even longer. Unfortunately, few journals enforce a deadline, making it hard to predict a timeline for peer-review completion. However, there are a few things editors and journals can do to make the peer review process more efficient and effective.

For example, making the process open could fix some of the problems mentioned. Find out more below.

What Are The Differences Between Traditional and Open Peer Review?

Traditional peer review (single, double, or triple-blind review) is a closed process, characterized by anonymity, selectiveness, and non-transparency. On the opposite end, open peer review encompasses many models of transparency during and after the peer review process, making it transparent, interactive, and available to the community and public.

Open peer review reveals the author and reviewer identities (unlike traditional peer review, where identities are concealed), allowing them to interact and talk with each other and become aware of who is reviewing their work. The reviews are available and open for anyone to read, not specifically limited to the researcher community. Moreover, open peer review allows the community to participate and comment on the final version of publications, further encouraging active participation and constructive scientific discussions. These activities can only be possible in an Open Access platform, such as Orvium.

Why Open Peer Review is Crucial For Science

Science is meant to be open and shared. Scientific knowledge advancement helps to evolve and preserve the human race. Open peer review encourages open scientific knowledge advancement as the community can read papers and reviews, and add contributions. Furthermore, open peer review encourages reviewers to fairly evaluate papers since they know anyone can read them.

Additionally, making papers open and easily accessible to everyone instead of only a couple of reviewers in a traditional peer review model makes finding mistakes and inconsistencies easier. Lastly, open peer review motivates researchers to publish their work more often because they’ll reach a higher audience and receive fast and honest feedback on their paper from an entire community. Find out how to become a reviewer and how to conduct a peer review, the right way.

The Open Peer Review Community at Orvium - “The Evolving Scholar”

Orvium collaborates with Tu Delft to encourage Open Science, ensuring that science is globally shared and available. Together, they formed The Evolving Scholar community on the Orvium platform, enabling everyone to easily access, publish, and comment on research publications. One crucial feature of this community is the open peer review process, which makes TU Delft one of the first universities that stands up for this type of review method.

Remember, an open peer review process is vital in making scientific knowledge more open and available to everyone. Through this process, academic papers will be more reliable and their information more valuable and precise. Authors will also be more aware of the status of their journal submissions. Open Science will be an even more attainable goal. See our latest publications and see how you can get involved on our platform.