Peer Review Week 2022, the annual conference to raise awareness of peer review in the field of academic publishing, was held this week. Out of all the proposals submitted for this year's theme, Research Integrity: creating and supporting trust in research was finally chosen with 29.2%. Given the current situation in which academic publishing finds itself, now more than ever it is important to restore confidence in peer review and the work it performs within academic research.
Among the activities that have been carried out, we can find several related to the following topics:
- Different approaches to the role of peer review and what it implies in academic
- Experiences of authors and reviewers: How do the people involved perceive this process?
- Peer Review and Open Access, how to maintain the integrity of reviews and
research now that we are evolving to a more open and transparent model.
- Tools to improve the review process: How to do a good peer review?
Peer Review Approaches
The peer-review process is essential in academic research, but how can this process turn into an obstacle? Currently, with the rapid evolution of online
communication worldwide, and the speed of information exchange, peer review seems to be a slow process that is difficult to adapt to.
However, it is also a necessary process in order to validate articles. This has led to the emergence of predatory journals. Making believe that they offer a fast
process for both review and publication of articles, but without the necessary quality standards.
The different phases of the publication process, the time required for peer review, and the pressure to publish more and faster, have proven to be incompatible factors that compromise the integrity of research and require a change to ensure that scholarly work remains of high quality.
How Authors and Reviewers Perceive this Process
Do authors and reviewers perceive the role of peer review equally? Between them, there is an imbalance in the way peer review is performed. You can learn more about this point in the following article: https://blog.orvium.io/balance-between-authors-and-reviewers/
Open Access and Peer Review
The rise of Open Access has made it easier for more people to access peer review. As access to more scholarly articles is open, the possibility of conducting peer review is also broadened. This would be a part of what is known as Open Peer Review. A review that is characterized by:
- Open identities: authors and reviewers know each other's identity.
- Open reporting: review reports are published together with the relevant
article (instead of being kept confidential).
- Open participation: the community at large (and not only invited reviewers) can contribute to the review process.
But just as this can be an advantage and help improve access to many groups, it can also bring several disadvantages. The fact that all the aspects mentioned above are public clashes with the fact that many reviewers do not want to reveal their identities. This fact (the identities are public) can also bring more bias to a process that is already heavily influenced by subjectivity. More on this next.
Tools to Improve the Review Process
To reduce bias when conducting a peer review, the first thing to take into account is that there are no interests involved in the review process. If the process itself can be biased, if there are interests involved in the review of the research, the research, for better or worse, can lose all its value.
Once a review is underway, apart from being clear about what you want to say to improve the work, it is also important how you say it. Keep in mind that the research being reviewed has taken many hours and a lot of work. Constructive criticism is always welcome, as long as it is said with empathy and respect for the work that has been done. Although the work of a reviewer is also hard and thankless, there is no reason to be rude with comments.
Another tool available to avoid bias and promote greater integrity not only in the review but also in the research, are registered reports. You can learn how they work in our post: https://blog.orvium.io/registered-reports/
You can also consult more tips in the following link: https://blog.orvium.io/how-to-write-comprehensive-review/
Supporting Peer Review Week
With the current situation in the world of scientific research and publishing, integrity in both research and peer review is gaining more weight than ever. Once again this year we support this week that seeks to raise awareness of current issues related to peer review, and at the same time encourage its application.
At Orvium we encourage peer review and consider it an important process when publishing. Therefore, our platform welcomes anyone who wants to perform a review. The reviews themselves also go through the editors of the communities, where the review is as scrutinized as the articles submitted.
Find out how to create a review and manage your review invitations with the following video: