Emerging trends in peer review—a survey

Authors : Richard Walker, Pascal Rocha da Silva

“Classical peer review” has been subject to intense criticism for slowing down the publication process, bias against specific categories of paper and author, unreliability, inability to detect errors and fraud, unethical practices, and the lack of recognition for unpaid reviewers.

This paper surveys innovative forms of peer review that attempt to address these issues. Based on an initial literature review, we construct a sample of 82 channels of scientific communication covering all forms of review identified by the survey, and analyze the review mechanisms used by each channel.

We identify two major trends: the rapidly expanding role of preprint servers (e.g., ArXiv) that dispense with traditional peer review altogether, and the growth of “non-selective review,” focusing on papers’ scientific quality rather than their perceived importance and novelty.

Other potentially important developments include forms of “open review,” which remove reviewer anonymity, and interactive review, as well as new mechanisms for post-publication review and out-of-channel reader commentary, especially critical commentary targeting high profile papers.

One of the strongest findings of the survey is the persistence of major differences between the peer review processes used by different disciplines. None of these differences is likely to disappear in the foreseeable future.

The most likely scenario for the coming years is thus continued diversification, in which different review mechanisms serve different author, reader, and publisher needs. Relatively little is known about the impact of these innovations on the problems they address. These are important questions for future quantitative research.

URL : Emerging trends in peer review—a survey

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2015.00169

Open Post Publication Peer Review: An Innovation in Scientific Communication

Authors : Peiling Wang, Manasa Rath, Michael Deike, Wu Qiang

This research observes the emerging open peer review journals. In scientific publishing, transparency in peer review is a growing topic of interest for online journals. The traditional blind refereeing process has been criticized for lacking transparency.

Although the idea of open peer review (OPR) has been explored since 1980s, it is only in this decade that OPR journals are born. Towards a more open publishing model, the peer review process–once accessible only to the editors and referees—is now available to public.

The published article and its review history are being integrated into one entity; readers can submit or post comments to extend the peer process. This preliminary study observed four pioneer OPR journals representing pre-publication OPR and post-publication OPR.

Data collection focuses on publication’s lifecycle from its submission to peer approval. Preliminary results include comparisons of the level of openness and nature of interactions during refereeing process.

URL : http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_infosciepubs/55/

Opening Review in LIS Journals: A Status Report

Author : Emily Ford


Peer-review practices in scholarly publishing are changing. Digital publishing mechanisms allow for open peer review, a peer review process that discloses author and reviewer identities to one another.

This model of peer review is increasingly implemented in scholarly publishing. In science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, open peer review is implemented in journal publishing processes, and, in the humanities and social sciences, it is often coupled with new scholarship practices, such as the digital humanities.

This article reports findings from an exploratory study on peer-review and publishing practices in Library and Information Science (LIS), focusing on LIS’s relationships with open peer review.


Editors of LIS journals were surveyed regarding journal peer review and publishing practices.


This article reports the general “pulse” of attitudes and conversations regarding open peer review and discusses its challenges in LIS. Results show an ideological split between traditionally-published journals and open access and association-affiliated journals. Open access and association-affiliated journal editors are more likely to consider investigating open peer review.


The LIS community of journal editors, authors, reviewers, and readers need to discuss open peer review as well as experiment with it. Experiments with open peer review in scholarly LIS publishing will inform our praxis as librarians.

URL : Opening Review in LIS Journals: A Status Report

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2148

Open peer review : from an experiment to a model. A narrative of an open peer review experimentation

This article narrates the development of the experimentation of an open peer review and open commentary protocols. This experiment concerns propositions of articles for the environmental sciences journal VertigO, digital and open access scientific publication.

This experiment did not last long enough (4 months) and was not deployed on a large enough corpus (10 preprints) to lead to firm quantitative conclusions. However, it highlights practical leads and thoughts about the potentialities and the limitations of the open review processes – in the broadest sense – for scientific publishing.

Based on the exemplary of the experiment and a participant observation as a copy-editor devoted to open peer review, the article finally proposes a model from the experimented prototype.

This model, named OPRISM, could be implemented on other publishing contexts for social sciences and humanities. Central and much debated activity in the academic world, peer review refers to different practices such as control, validation, allocation and contradiction exercised by the scientific community for itself.

Its scope is wide: from the allocation for funding to the relevance of a recruitment. According to common sense, the control of the scientific community by itself is a guarantee of scientific quality.

This issue became even more important in an international context of competition between universities and between scholars themselves.

URL : Open peer review : from an experiment to a model

Alternative location : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01302597

Évaluation ouverte par les pairs : de l’expérimentation à la modélisation : Récit d’une expérience d’évaluation ouverte par les pairs

Cet article relate le déroulement de l’expérimentation d’un dispositif d’évaluation ouverte par les pairs et de commentaire ouvert, pour des propositions d’articles à la revue en sciences de l’environnement VertigO, publication scientifique électronique en accès libre.

Si cette expérimentation ne s’est pas déroulée sur un temps assez long (4 mois) et un corpus assez étendu (10 manuscrits) pour en tirer des conclusions quantitatives fermes, elle expose néanmoins des pistes et des réflexions concrètes sur les potentialités et les limites de l’ouverture des processus d’évaluation – au sens large – pour la publication scientifique.

Se basant sur l’exemplarité de l’expérience et une observation participante en tant que secrétaire de rédaction consacré à l’évaluation ouverte, l’article propose finalement la modélisation du prototype expérimenté. Ce modèle, surnommé OPRISM, pourrait être utilisé dans d’autres cadres éditoriaux pour les sciences humaines et sociales.

URL : https://hal-paris1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01283582v1

A new scholar’s perspective on open peer review

This article argues that the pedagogical and scholarly benefits of open peer review far outweigh those of traditional double-blind peer review, but require a shift in our perspective of the function and value of peer review – from a gate-keeping process, toward a supportive, constructive process of collaboration between peers and mentors.

URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2015.1085857

For what it’s worth – the open peer review landscape


The purpose of this paper is twofold, first, to discuss the current and future issues around post-publication open peer review. Second, to highlight some of the main protagonists and platforms that encourages open peer review, pre-and post-publication.


The first part of the paper aims to discuss the facilitators and barriers that will enable and prevent academics engaging with the new and established platforms of scholarly communication and review. These issues are covered with the intention of proposing further dialogue within the academic community that ultimately address researchers’ concerns, whilst continuing to nurture a progressive approach to scholarly communication and review. The paper will continue to look at the prominent open post-publication platforms and tools and discuss whether in the future it will become a standard model.


 The paper identifies several problems, not exclusive to open peer review that could inhibit academics from being open with their reviews and comments of other’s research. Whilst identifies opportunities to be had by embracing a new era of academic openness.

Practical implications

 The paper summarises key platforms and arguments for open peer review and will be of interest to researchers in different disciplines as well as the wider academic community wanting to know more about scholarly communications and measurement.


 This paper looks at many of the new platforms that have been previously ignored and discusses issues relating to open peer review that have only been touched on in brief by other published research.

URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/OIR-06-2015-0182