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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Addressing the Regional Diversity of Reviewers – The Wiley Network (Thomas Gaston | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 17, 2018
 

There is a present imbalance in the regional distribution of the burden of peer review. The regional distribution of reviewers (or, more specifically, of those invited to review) does not mirror the regional distribution of submitting authors. This is the conclusion of multiple studies (Kovanis, 2016 and Mulligan and van Rossum, 2014), including a study conducted by Wiley in 2016 (Warne, 2016). This research found that uneven burden upon researchers from the USA, providing 33-34% of the reviewers and 22-24% of the submissions.

One might argue that this is not an issue. Editors are under no obligation to ensure an even geographic distribution of those they invite to review. The primary consideration for editors, when selecting reviewers, must be choosing individuals whose expertise is appropriate to the manuscript under consideration. However, there are reasons for seeing the present imbalance as a problem. The burden of peer review is currently borne by a small pool of reviewers, leading to increased difficulty for editors in finding available reviewers (Sipior, 2018). Furthermore, there is an inherent advantage in having a diverse reviewer pool to counter tendencies toward group-think and bias.

Why This Imbalance?

We wanted to understand why there is this regional imbalance. Non-US researchers are willing to review (Mulligan and van Rossum, 2014); the problem seems to be that they are not being invited. We wanted to investigate the factors involved in the reviewers being invited and agreeing to review. Our hypothesis was that there would be a correlation between the location of the editor-in-chief (EiC) and the location of the reviewer. We also wanted to look at other potential factors, including the location of the author, the ranking of the journal, the size of the journal, and the apparent difficulty the journal had in obtaining reviews.

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Ask The Chefs: How Would You Ensure Diversity In Peer Review? – Scholarly Kitchen (Ann Michael | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 12, 2018
 

Next week is Peer Review Week 2018. Asking the Chefs a peer review question has become a bit of a tradition for us. In 2016 we asked: What is the future of peer review? Last year we contemplated: Should peer review change?

This year the theme is diversity in peer review. So we’ve asked the Chefs: How would you ensure diversity in peer review?

Lisa Hinchliffe: Given I have served as a journal editor multiple times in my career, allow me to respond to this question from that perspective. First, you must have a commitment to diversity in peer review as a non-negotiable facet of your process and investing the time and effort needed in order achieve your goal of diversity. Second, you must do the work to identify a diverse reviewer corps and solicit the commitment of reviewers who you wish to be part of your team. Third, you must ensure that the experience of serving as a peer reviewer is a positive experience. You may need to do additional outreach and offer additional support to overcome the impact of reviewers’ past negative experiences as a peer reviewer. Fourth, you must check your own biases and privileges when you review the assessments submitted by the peer reviewers and not discount the feedback and evaluations submitted from the diversity of perspectives you have recruited. Fifth, you must ensure that peer reviewers receive recognition for their labor in ways that are valued in the performance review (tenure/promotion) schemes under which they are evaluated. No one owes their diversity to our peer review processes but many are willing. It is our responsibility as editors to invite, recognize, and reward them.

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Can Peer Review Be Saved? – Chronicle of Higher Education (Paul Basken | March 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 8, 2018
 

Peer Review in Flux

The internet era has changed the landscape

It is peer review week (September 10-15 2018) so we thought it timely to share this provocative piece and provide a swag of links to other peer review items in the Resource Library.

The problem facing universities in 2018 isn’t so much that peer review has inevitably evolved, but that scientists collectively have failed to respond with a better replacement.
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Beaten down by technological change and economic pressures, the long-held notion of scientific peer review is losing its status as the “gold standard” measure of scholarly reliability.
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The problem facing universities in 2018, however, isn’t so much that peer review has inevitably evolved, but that scientists collectively have failed to respond with a better replacement. Among the many troubles for peer-reviewed publications:
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Non-preferred reviewers and editorial discretion – Small Pond Science (Terry Mcglynn | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 7, 2018
 

Apparently, there are some editors of academic journals who will readily send manuscripts out to “non-preferred reviewers” – the specific people that authors specify who they don’t want to receive the paper for review.

I think this is all kinds of messed up.

Is this a simple, clear-cut issue? Well, no. There are a lot of factors at work on the surface, and a lot going on under the surface that the involved parties might not be aware of. However, notwithstanding the complexity of the issues at hand, it’s hard for me to imagine a circumstance where this kind of action would be advisable (and I’d like to be clear that this is a practice that I do not engage in).

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