The Why’s and How’s of Open Peer Review—a Panel Discussion for Peer Review Week 2021 – ScienceOpen Blog

“This year, Peer Review Week is taking place September 20th through 24th, and ScienceOpen has put together an expert panel to discuss the why’s and how’s of open peer review. Peer Review Week is an annual weeklong event that is led by the community to celebrate the essential role that peer review plays in scientific and academic communication. The event brings together all those committed to sharing the central message that quality peer review, whatever shape or form it might take, is critical to scholarly research. As a proponent of open peer review, we thought it would be the perfect topic to discuss during Peer Review Week this year. Below you will find the details and registration link for the panel we have assembled to discuss everything on the topic of open peer review which will take place on September 24th at 4 pm London time (UTC+1). We would love to have you join this free, online event during Peer Review Week!…”

Why ex post peer review encourages high-risk research while ex ante review discourages it

Abstract:  Peer review is an integral component of contemporary science. While peer review focuses attention on promising and interesting science, it also encourages scientists to pursue some questions at the expense of others. Here, we use ideas from forecasting assessment to examine how two modes of peer review — ex ante review of proposals for future work and ex post review of completed science — motivate scientists to favor some questions instead of others. Our main result is that ex ante and ex post peer review push investigators toward distinct sets of scientific questions. This tension arises because ex post review allows an investigator to leverage her own scientific beliefs to generate results that others will find surprising, whereas ex ante review does not. Moreover, ex ante review will favor different research questions depending on whether reviewers rank proposals in anticipation of changes to their own personal beliefs, or to the beliefs of their peers. The tension between ex ante and ex post review puts investigators in a bind, because most researchers need to find projects that will survive both. By unpacking the tension between these two modes of review, we can understand how they shape the landscape of science and how changes to peer review might shift scientific activity in unforeseen directions.


The dawn of the age of duplicate peer review – The Scholarly Kitchen

“To sum up, the existence of a public version of a manuscript (i.e., the preprint) opens up many new avenues for peer review, and these are largely positive for the integrity of the scientific record. However, many of these peer review efforts run in parallel to peer review at the journal. As I hope I’ve illustrated above, there’s no clear way to decide what counts as legitimate discussion of a preprint and what is unethical duplicate peer review. As preprints become more prevalent we may need to abandon our hopes of enforcing sequential peer review entirely, and that may not be a bad thing.”

Making Strides in Research Reporting – The Official PLOS Blog

“PLOS keeps a watchful and enthusiastic eye on emerging research, and we update our policies as needed to address new challenges and opportunities that surface. In doing so, we work to advance our core mission and values aimed at transforming research communication and promoting Open Science. 

Here, I summarize a few key updates we made between 2016-2021….”

Introducing PREreview Communities

“We see PREreview Communities as elements of an interconnected network of preprint reviewers, each with its own shared purpose, rules, and components—all working together towards a shared goal. This goal is to build a better research culture, one where everyone regardless of their career level, identity, cultural and educational background, is empowered to share their constructive feedback openly, is valued, and is recognized for their contributions….”

“Positively Disrupt(ing) Research Culture for the Better”: An Interview with Alexandra Freeman of Octopus – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In early August, it was announced that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) would provide significant funding for a new open publishing platform. Called Octopus, this initiative is not yet fully launched, but when it is it plans to “provide a new ‘primary research record’ for recording and appraising research “as it happens’”; UKRI calls Octopus “a ground-breaking global service which could positively disrupt research culture for the better.” I reached out to Octopus’s founder, Dr. Alexandra Freeman, to ask some questions about Octopus and its plans for the future….”

Can Twitter data help in spotting problems early with publications? What retracted COVID-19 papers can teach us about science in the public sphere | Impact of Social Sciences

“Publications that are based on wrong data, methodological mistakes, or contain other types of severe errors can spoil the scientific record if they are not retracted. Retraction of publications is one of the effective ways to correct the scientific record. However, before a problematic publication can be retracted, the problem has to be found and brought to the attention of the people involved (the authors of the publication and editors of the journal). The earlier a problem with a published paper is detected, the earlier the publication can be retracted and the less wasted effort goes into new research that is based on disinformation within the scientific record. Therefore, it would be advantageous to have an early warning system that spots potential problems with published papers, or maybe even before based on a preprint version….”

How to foster a positive preprint feedback culture: From FAST principles to implementation – ASAPbio

“We dedicated one breakout session during the #FeedbackASAP meeting to explore questions around preprint feedback culture. During the session we focused on two main aspects: a discussion of the FAST principles for preprint feedback, and an exploration of what needs to happen so that we get to the positive culture we wish to see….”

Stories of Open: Opening Peer Review through Narrative Inquiry – ACRL Insider

“ACRL announces the publication of Stories of Open: Opening Peer Review through Narrative Inquiry by Emily Ford, book number 76 in ACRL’s Publications in Librarianship series, which examines the methods and processes of peer review as well as the stories of those who have been through it. Stories of Open is the first book to go through the Publications in Librarianship open peer review process. …”

Stories of Open: Opening Peer Review through Narrative Inquiry (ACRL Publications in Librarianship No. 76) | ALA Store

“Peer review processes in scholarly publishing are often hidden behind layers of opacity, leaving authors—and even reviewers—with many questions about the process. Open peer review is one way to improve the practice. It can shorten the time between manuscript submission and publication, hold reviewers accountable for their work, make more apparent the hidden labor of reviewing and editing, allow for collaborative discourse between authors and reviewers, and more. Even with these benefits, open peer review is not widely accepted or understood. Few academic librarians have experienced it, and each implementation can be different; anything open is highly nuanced and contextual. Ultimately, when we discuss “open,” we must discuss the stories around it. What is the aim? What are the pitfalls? What are the gains? And are we trying to simply replicate a broken system instead of reinventing it?

Stories of Open: Opening Peer Review through Narrative Inquiry examines the methods and processes of peer review, as well as the stories of those who have been through it….”

Review Commons – Improve your paper and streamline publication through journal-independent peer-review.

“Review Commons is a platform for high-quality journal-independent peer-review in the life sciences.

Review Commons provides authors with a Refereed Preprint, which includes the authors’ manuscript, reports from a single round of peer review and the authors’ response. Review Commons also facilitates author-directed submission of Refereed Preprints to affiliate journals to expedite editorial consideration, reduce serial re-review and streamline publication.

Review Commons transfers Refereed Preprints on behalf of the authors to bioRxiv and 17 affiliate journals from EMBO Press, eLife, ASCB, The Company of Biologists, Rockefeller University Press and PLOS.

Review Commons will:

Allow reviewers to focus on the science, not specific journal fit.
Enrich the value of preprints.
Reduce re-reviewing at multiple journals.
Accelerate the publishing process by providing journals with high-quality referee reports….”

New Peer Review Model Pushes for Transparency and Efficiency in Science – SPARC

“Last December, a new platform was launched to provide scientists independent peer review of their work before submitting to a journal. Review Commons aims to give authors quick, clear, and objective insight that focuses on the rigor of the research rather than its fit for a particular publication. 

Spearheaded by ASAPbio, EMBO, and 17 affiliate journals in the life sciences, with funding from The Helmsley Charitable Trust, the initiative’s open approach is intended to expedite the publication process. It does this by allowing reviews to be reused by multiple journals, while providing publicly-visible feedback on research shared as preprints. Once authors receive comments, they have a chance to respond before submitting for consideration at one of the participating journals from EMBO Press, eLife, ASCB, The Company of Biologists, Rockefeller University Press and PLoS. …”

Public feedback on preprints can unlock their full potential to accelerate science.

“Public preprint review can help authors improve their paper, find new collaborators, and gain visibility. It also helps readers find interesting and relevant papers and contextualize them with the reactions of experts in the field. Never has this been more apparent than in COVID-19, where rapid communication and expert commentary have both been in high demand. Yet, most feedback on preprints is currently exchanged privately.

Join ASAPbio in partnership with DORA, HHMI, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to discuss how to create a culture of constructive public review and feedback on preprints….”

Guest Post – Open and Faster Scholarly Communication in a Post-COVID World – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The pandemic presented an urgency for effective science to inform decision-making and has shown just how fast and open scholarly communication can be. Researchers shared their preliminary results on preprint servers and institutional repositories at unprecedented rates, inspiring various preprint peer-review initiatives. Journal publishers processed manuscripts from submission to publication in record time. And much of what we know about Covid-19 has been learned through data sharing and cooperation at the international level, with the use of critical data-sharing infrastructure.

While the research community has responded with an extraordinary level of openness, speed, and collaboration, it has also brought to the fore some of the key challenges we still face in the transition to open research – and the opportunities they represent….”