More transparency in the peer review process will help researchers to study peer review and improve its quality and fairness.
After working for about a decade as a journal editor, I’m concerned that peer review is not the safeguard against bad science that we think it is. I’m convinced that peer review could be a lot better and that increased transparency in the process is key to improving it.
In the past, the system we used to judge the quality of research evolved. It shifted from focussing on the career and reputation of the researcher to the qualities of the description of the project. This Physics piece suggests it is time for another evolution and what we need now is transparent and open. This item has several great suggestions. Peer review is in need of a lot of reform.
But how well does our modern peer review system work? Does it keep bias, misconduct, and errors at bay? Alas, we don’t have enough data to answer these questions. As scientists, we frequently advocate for evidence-based practice, but we don’t always practice what we preach when it comes to keeping our own houses in order.
- M. Baldwin, “In referees we trust?” Phys. Today 70, No. 2, 44 (2017).