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ResourcesResearch IntegrityAdvocating for publishing peer review – ASAbio (Iain Cheeseman | April 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Advocating for publishing peer review – ASAbio (Iain Cheeseman | April 2018)

Published/Released on April 24, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 13, 2018 / , , , ,
 


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Journals play a critical role in the scientific process, refining research through peer review and disseminating it to appropriate communities. At its best, the publishing process is a partnership among editors, staff, authors, reviewers, and readers. Each group has a vested interest in working together to ensure a robust and fair editorial evaluation, rigorous and constructive review, and the broadest visibility of the work. This process functions best when each group communicates openly with the others as we strive to refine the way that science is conducted and disseminated.

One of the advantages of publishing peer reviews is that it will expose illegitimate publishers for what they are (vanity/pay-to-play publishers) but further study would be prudent on the impact of reputational concerns on reviews and to address the potential for compounded bias in reviews.

The last few years have seen a revolution in life sciences publishing with the adoption of preprints and increasingly diverse experiments from traditional journals. A recent meeting organized by ASAPbio, HHMI, and Wellcome focused on bringing more transparency and innovation to our peer review system. One of the most important tangible recommendations to come from the meeting, in my opinion, was the proposal that journals should widely adopt more transparency in the peer review process. There was near unanimous consensus from the participants—which included scientists, representatives of journals, scientific societies, and funders—that more journals should commit to publishing the peer reviews of every paper that appears in the journal. Similar to the peer review processes offered by EMBO Journal, eLife, and others, the reviewers could still remain anonymous, but this transparency would provide much better insight into the assessment process and nature of the paper.
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