Trials suggest that far from being mutually exclusive, both can play an important role, says Kim Eggleton
When reviewing someone’s work, fair judgement is threatened by bias – conscious or otherwise – about their gender, name, nationality, affiliation or career status. That is why a growing chorus in recent years has been calling for new models of peer review to be developed that minimise the opportunity for prejudice to creep in.
Data clearly demonstrates that bias (implicit or overt) besets peer review. It can be seen in the bias evident in the relative publication across underrepresented cohorts found in groups such as gender, race, geographic location, institutional affiliation and career stage. Anonymity in the peer review process or the transparency of the process have been presented as solutions, but are they mutually exclusive solutions? This Times Higher Education piece dives into the issues. We have included links to 11 related items.
At IOP Publishing, we have introduced two different but complementary approaches to bias reduction at all our self-owned open access journals. As the first physics publisher to adopt these approaches portfolio-wide, we believe the sector will be interested in how they have been received.
In the past year, we’ve moved all our own journals over to double-anonymous peer review, whereby the identities of both the reviewer and author are concealed. Our early data suggest that anonymised papers are more likely to be published, and the feedback we’ve received from both sides has been overwhelmingly positive.