Transparency in peer review is the theme of Peer Review Week 2017, which starts today. Cell Press is taking part in this week’s activities by highlighting some of the things we’ve been doing to increase the transparency in peer review for our authors, reviewers, and readers.
Peer review is collaboration. Although the traditional peer review process may seem rigid and linear—with authors submitting a paper, editors inviting reviewers, reviewers submitting the comments, and editors making a decision—in practice, Cell Press editors often engage in extensive discussions with reviewers after we’ve received all the comments. This helps us understand better where reviewers are coming from, and formulate the most appropriate course of revisions for the authors. Reviewer cross-consultation has been an informal feature of our approach to peer review for some time now.
Several years ago, we decided to start experimenting with making the collaborative peer review more structured and systematic. The first round of innovation in this area took place in 2014, and we’ve continued to build from those early results, which indicated that making the peer review process more collaborative has benefits and values for everyone involved in and, ultimately, the published science.