Peer review and preprint policies are unclear at most major journals

Authors : Thomas Klebel, Stefan Reichmann, Jessica Polka, Gary McDowell, Naomi Penfold, Samantha Hindle, Tony Ross-Hellauer

Clear and findable publishing policies are important for authors to choose appropriate journals for publication. We investigated the clarity of policies of 171 major academic journals across disciplines regarding peer review and preprinting.

31.6% of journals surveyed do not provide information on the type of peer review they use. Information on whether preprints can be posted or not is unclear in 39.2% of journals. 58.5% of journals offer no clear information on whether reviewer identities are revealed to authors.

Around 75% of journals have no clear policy on coreviewing, citation of preprints, and publication of reviewer identities. Information regarding practices of Open Peer Review is even more scarce, with <20% of journals providing clear information.

Having found a lack of clear information, we conclude by examining the implications this has for researchers (especially early career) and the spread of open research practices.

URL : Peer review and preprint policies are unclear at most major journals

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.01.24.918995

Pubfair: a framework for sustainable, distributed, open science publishing services

Authors : Tony Ross-Hellauer, Benedikt Fecher, Kathleen Shearer, Eloy Rodrigues

Over the last thirty years, digitally-networked technologies have disrupted traditional media, turning business models on their head and changing the conditions for the creation, packaging and distribution of content.

Yet, scholarly communication still looks remarkably as it did in the pre-digital age. The primary unit of dissemination remains the research article (or book in some disciplines), and today’s articles still bear a remarkable resemblance to those that populated the pages of Oldenburg’s Philosophical Transactions 350 years ago.

In an age of such disruptive innovation, it is striking how little digital technologies have impacted scholarly publishing; and this is also somewhat ironic, since the Web was developed by scientists for research purposes.

Pubfair is a conceptual model for a modular open source publishing framework which builds upon a distributed network of repositories to enable the dissemination and quality-control of a range of research outputs including publications, data, and more.

Pubfair aims to introduce significant innovation into scholarly publishing. It enables different stakeholders (funders, institutions, scholarly societies, individuals scientists) to access a suite of functionalities to create their own dissemination channels, with built in open review and transparent processes.

The model minimizes publishing costs while maintaining academic standards by connecting communities with iterative publishing services linked to their preferred repository.

Such a publishing environment has the capacity to transform the scholarly communication system, making it more research-centric, dissemination-oriented and open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.

URL : https://apo.org.au/node/257281

The limitations to our understanding of peer review

Authors : Jonathan P. Tennant, Tony Ross-Hellauer

Peer review is embedded in the core of our scholarly knowledge generation systems, conferring legitimacy on research while distributing academic capital and prestige on individuals.

Despite its critical importance, it curiously remains poorly understood in a number of dimensions. In order to address this, we have programmatically analysed peer review to assess where the major gaps in our theoretical and empirical understanding of it lie.

We distill this into core themes around editorial accountability, the subjectivity and bias of reviewers, the function and quality of peer review, the role of the reviewer, the social and epistemic implications of peer review, and regarding innovations in open peer review platforms and services.

We use this to present a guide for the future of peer review, and the development of a new research discipline based on the study of peer review. Such a field requires sustained funding and commitment from publishers and research funders, who both have a commitment to uphold the integrity of the published scholarly record.

This will require the design of a consensus for a minimal set of standards for what constitutes peer review, and the development of a shared data infrastructure to support this.

We recognise that many of the criticisms attributed to peer review might reflect wider issues within academia and wider society, and future care will be required in order to carefully demarcate and address these.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/jq623

Ten Hot Topics around Scholarly Publishing

Authors : Jonathan P. Tennant, Harry Crane, Tom Crick, Jacinto Davila, Asura Enkhbayar, Johanna Havemann, Bianca Kramer, Ryan Martin, Paola Masuzzo,  Andy Nobes, Curt Rice, Bárbara Rivera-López, Tony Ross-Hellauer, Susanne Sattler, Paul D. Thacker, Marc Vanholsbeeck

The changing world of scholarly communication and the emerging new wave of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly debated topics.

Evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication.

This article aims to provide a baseline evidence framework for ten of the most contested topics, in order to help frame and move forward discussions, practices, and policies.

We address issues around preprints and scooping, the practice of copyright transfer, the function of peer review, predatory publishers, and the legitimacy of ‘global’ databases.

These arguments and data will be a powerful tool against misinformation across wider academic research, policy and practice, and will inform changes within the rapidly evolving scholarly publishing system.

URL : Ten Hot Topics around Scholarly Publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications7020034

Ten myths around open scholarly publishing

Authors : Jonathan P Tennant​​​, Harry Crane​​, Tom Crick​​, Jacinto Davila​, Asura Enkhbayar​​, Johanna Havemann​​, Bianca Kramer​​, Ryan Martin​​, Paola Masuzzo​​, Andy Nobes​​, Curt Rice​​, Bárbara R López​​, Tony Ross-Hellauer​​, Susanne Sattler​​, Paul Thacker​​, MarcVanholsbeeck

The changing world of scholarly communication and the emergence of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly-debated topics.

Yet, evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication.

The aim of this article is to provide a baseline evidence framework for ten of the most contested topics, in order to help frame and move forward discussions, practices and policies. We address preprints and scooping, the practice of copyright transfer, the function of peer review, and the legitimacy of ‘global’ databases.

The presented facts and data will be a powerful tool against misinformation across wider academic research, policy and practice, and may be used to inform changes within the rapidly evolving scholarly publishing system.

URL : Ten myths around open scholarly publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.27580v1

Guidelines for open peer review implementation

Authors : Tony Ross-Hellauer, Edit Görögh

Open peer review (OPR) is moving into the mainstream, but it is often poorly understood and surveys of researcher attitudes show important barriers to implementation.

As more journals move to implement and experiment with the myriad of innovations covered by this term, there is a clear need for best practice guidelines to guide implementation.

This brief article aims to address this knowledge gap, reporting work based on an interactive stakeholder workshop to create best-practice guidelines for editors and journals who wish to transition to OPR.

Although the advice is aimed mainly at editors and publishers of scientific journals, since this is the area in which OPR is at its most mature, many of the principles may also be applicable for the implementation of OPR in other areas (e.g., books, conference submissions).

URL : Guidelines for open peer review implementation

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-019-0063-9

Ten considerations for open peer review

Authors : Birgit Schmidt, Tony Ross-Hellauer, Xenia van Edig, Elizabeth C Moylan

Open peer review (OPR), as with other elements of open science and open research, is on the rise. It aims to bring greater transparency and participation to formal and informal peer review processes.

But what is meant by `open peer review’, and what advantages and disadvantages does it have over standard forms of review? How do authors or reviewers approach OPR? And what pitfalls and opportunities should you look out for?

Here, we propose ten considerations for OPR, drawing on discussions with authors, reviewers, editors, publishers and librarians, and provide a pragmatic, hands-on introduction to these issues.

We cover basic principles and summarise best practices, indicating how to use OPR to achieve best value and mutual benefits for all stakeholders and the wider research community.

URL : Ten considerations for open peer review

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.15334.1