The demand for peer reviewers is often perceived as disproportionate to the supply and availability of reviewers. Considering characteristics associated with peer review behaviour can allow for the development of solutions to manage the growing demand for peer reviewers. The objective of this research was to compare characteristics among two groups of reviewers registered in Publons.
We have observed before, there are tangible benefits from conducting peer reviews. This open access paper (published in February 2022) reports about publications and citations performance. Rather than being a distraction from our own research and writing, peer review improves our own practice. Of course, it would be good if journals paid reviewers ($450). There should also be recognition nationally. It would be beneficial if at the institutional level there was some form of tracking and celebration of peer reviews. We have included links to five related items.
A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used to compare characteristics between (1) individuals completing at least 100 peer reviews (‘mega peer reviewers’) from January 2018 to December 2018 as and (2) a control group of peer reviewers completing between 1 and 18 peer reviews over the same time period. Data was provided by Publons, which offers a repository of peer reviewer activities in addition to tracking peer reviewer publications and research metrics. Mann Whitney tests and chi-square tests were conducted comparing characteristics (e.g., number of publications, number of citations, word count of peer review) of mega peer reviewers to the control group of reviewers.
A total of 1596 peer reviewers had data provided by Publons. A total of 396 M peer reviewers and a random sample of 1200 control group reviewers were included. A greater proportion of mega peer reviews were male (92%) as compared to the control reviewers (70% male). Mega peer reviewers demonstrated a significantly greater average number of total publications, citations, receipt of Publons awards, and a higher average h index as compared to the control group of reviewers (all p < .001). We found no statistically significant differences in the number of words between the groups (p > .428).
Mega peer reviewers registered in the Publons database also had a higher number of publications and citations as compared to a control group of reviewers. Additional research that considers motivations associated with peer review behaviour should be conducted to help inform peer reviewing activity.
Rice, D.B., Pham, B., Presseau, JA., Tricco, C. & Moher, D. (2022) Characteristics of ‘mega’ peer-reviewers. Research Integrity and Peer Review 7(1) (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-022-00121-1
Publisher (Open Access): https://researchintegrityjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41073-022-00121-1