How to improve scientific peer review: Four schools of thought

Authors : Ludo Waltman, Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner, Stephen Pinfield, Helen Buckley Woods

Peer review plays an essential role as one of the cornerstones of the scholarly publishing system. There are many initiatives that aim to improve the way in which peer review is organized, resulting in a highly complex landscape of innovation in peer review.

Different initiatives are based on different views on the most urgent challenges faced by the peer review system, leading to a diversity of perspectives on how the system can be improved.

To provide a more systematic understanding of the landscape of innovation in peer review, we suggest that the landscape is shaped by four schools of thought: The Quality & Reproducibility school, the Democracy & Transparency school, the Equity & Inclusion school, and the Efficiency & Incentives school.

Each school has a different view on the key problems of the peer review system and the innovations necessary to address these problems. The schools partly complement each other, but we argue that there are also important tensions between the schools.

We hope that the four schools of thought offer a useful framework to facilitate conversations about the future development of the peer review system.

URL : How to improve scientific peer review: Four schools of thought