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    Academic review promotion and tenure documents promote a view of open access that is at odds with the wider academic community

Academic review promotion and tenure documents promote a view of open access that is at odds with the wider academic community

A critical issue for advocates of Open Access (OA) has been the persistent lack of institutional incentives for academics to engage with Open Access publishing. Drawing on their research into Review, Promotion and Tenure documents, a team at the Scholarly Communications Lab, including Juan Pablo Alperin, Esteban Morales and Erin McKiernan argue that when these key documents for research […]

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    Peer review is not just quality control, it is part of the social infrastructure of research

Peer review is not just quality control, it is part of the social infrastructure of research

The purpose of peer review is often portrayed as being a simple ‘objective’ test of the soundness or quality of a research paper. However, it also performs other functions primarily through linking and developing relationships between networks of researchers. In this post, Flaminio Squazzoni explores these interconnections and argues that to understand peer review as simply an exercise in […]

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    Self-organising peer review for preprints – A future paradigm for scholarly publishing

Self-organising peer review for preprints – A future paradigm for scholarly publishing

Preprints – rapidly published non peer reviewed research articles – are becoming an increasingly common fixture in scholarly communication. However, without being peer reviewed they serve a limited function, as they are often not recognised as high quality research publications. In this post Wang LingFeng discusses how the development of preprint servers as self-organising peer review platforms could be the future […]

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    The careers of carers – A numerical adjustment cannot level the playing field for researchers who take time off to care for children

The careers of carers – A numerical adjustment cannot level the playing field for researchers who take time off to care for children

Quantitative measures of the effect of caring for children on research outputs (published papers and citations) have been used by some universities as a tool to address gender bias in academic grant and job applications. In this post Adrian Barnett argues that these adjustments fail to capture the real impacts of caring for children and should be replaced with […]

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    Are altmetrics able to measure societal impact in a similar way to peer review?

Are altmetrics able to measure societal impact in a similar way to peer review?

Altmetrics have become an increasingly ubiquitous part of scholarly communication, although the value they indicate is contested. In this post, Lutz Bornmann and Robin Haunschild present evidence from their recent study examining the relationship of peer review, altmetrics, and bibliometric analyses with societal and academic impact. Drawing on evidence from REF2014 submissions, they argue altmetrics may provide evidence for […]

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Gender bias in peer review – Opening up the black box II

In their previous post, Alex Holmes and Sally Hardy examined the results of research undertaken by the Regional Studies Association on the relationship between author gender and peer review outcomes in their flagship journal Regional Studies. Digging deeper into these findings, in this post, they assess the effect of gender on naming order in journals, peer reviewing and […]

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Gender bias in peer review – opening up the black box

Gender bias in peer review has been much discussed in the wider research community. However, there have been few attempts to analyse the issue within the social sciences. To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), this post by Alex Holmes and Sally Hardy highlights research undertaken by the Regional Studies Association to investigate the effect of gender on peer review […]

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    Counting is not enough – How plain language statements could improve research assessment

Counting is not enough – How plain language statements could improve research assessment

Academic hiring and promotion committees and funding bodies often use publication lists as a shortcut to assessing the quality of applications. In this repost, Janet Hering argues that in order to avoid bias towards prestigious titles, plain language statements should become a standard feature of academic assessment.

Let’s start with the obvious. Evaluation and assessment are part and parcel of the […]

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    Never on a Sunday! Is there a best day for submitting an article for publication?

Never on a Sunday! Is there a best day for submitting an article for publication?

With the advent of electronic publishing has come a wealth of ancillary data on issues related to the acceptance of articles for publication. Large data sets can now be quickly analysed to assess whether or not certain features, previously deemed unimportant, can actually affect the chances of a research paper being accepted for publication.  In this post, James Hartley […]

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    Now is the time to update our understanding of scientific impact in light of open scholarship

Now is the time to update our understanding of scientific impact in light of open scholarship

Sascha Friesike, Benedikt Fecher and Gert. G. Wagner outline three systemic shifts in scholarly communication that render traditional bibliometric measures of impact outdated and call for a renewed debate on how we understand and measure research impact.

New digital research infrastructures and the advent of online distribution channels are changing the realities of scientific knowledge creation and dissemination. Yet, the […]

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    Three propositions to help to cultivate a culture of care and broad-mindedness in academic publishing

Three propositions to help to cultivate a culture of care and broad-mindedness in academic publishing

Academic publishing has been transformed by digitisation over recent decades, with the review process now able to be comprehensively tracked and transparent. But despite such progress, is our publication infrastructure actually more transparent, inclusive, and with less conflict? Or are practices of exclusion and gatekeeping merely now being hidden? Diane-Laure Arjaliès, Santi Furnari, Albane Grandazzi, Marie Hasbi, Maximilian Heimstädt, […]

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Rewarding peer reviewers: a problem of adverse selection?

As a solution to the worsening peer reviewer shortage, many scientific journals now offer non-monetary rewards as an incentive to researchers to register to review. Marco Seeber and Monica Zaharie report on research studying the efficacy of non-monetary rewards in attracting peer reviewers, exploring whether acceptance varies according to the nature of the offer of the reward or the […]

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October 31st, 2018|Peer review|0 Comments|
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    Not all academics are comfortable with the idea of open peer review

Not all academics are comfortable with the idea of open peer review

There are many arguments in favour of open peer review, from anticipated improvements to the speed and quality of reviews brought about by the greater accountability, through to the likely reduction in unfair or illogical decisions because of the system’s transparency. Despite this, not all academics are comfortable with open peer review and remain fearful of their comments and […]

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    Reading list: a selection of posts on peer review to celebrate #PeerReviewWeek18

Reading list: a selection of posts on peer review to celebrate #PeerReviewWeek18

This week is Peer Review Week 2018, a global event celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality. Peer Review Week “brings together individuals, institutions, and organisations committed to sharing the central message that good peer review, whatever shape or form it might take, is critical to scholarly communications”.

In addition to the new posts to […]

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September 13th, 2018|Peer review|0 Comments|
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    As demands on the peer review system are increasing, reviewers are simultaneously becoming less responsive to invitations

As demands on the peer review system are increasing, reviewers are simultaneously becoming less responsive to invitations

During this Peer Review Week 2018, Tom Culley shares findings from the new Publons “Global State of Peer Review” report. As demands on the peer review system increase, reviewers are actually becoming less responsive to invitations. Meanwhile, researchers from established regions such as the USA, UK, and Japan continue to review significantly more than their counterparts from emerging regions […]

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September 12th, 2018|Peer review|1 Comment|
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    A privilege, a gift, and a reason for gratitude: appreciating the human dimension of peer review

A privilege, a gift, and a reason for gratitude: appreciating the human dimension of peer review

The shortcomings of the peer review process are well-documented, with it being variously described as too slow, conservative, and even unkind. But amidst fevered discussion of its logistical merits, the inherent humanistic value of peer review is often overlooked. Keren Dali and Paul T. Jaeger encourage reviewers to remember that each peer review opportunity offers an incredible human experience […]

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    Linguistic analysis reveals the hidden details of research grant proposal peer review reports

Linguistic analysis reveals the hidden details of research grant proposal peer review reports

Despite peer review panels being the most common way of selecting applicants for research funding, little is known about how selections are made. New methods for large-scale text analysis allow for review panels’ written reports to be analysed and studied for patterns. Peter van den Besselaar and Ulf Sandström show how the frequency of positive and negative evaluation words […]

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    Beyond #FakeScience: how to overcome shallow certainty in scholarly communication

Beyond #FakeScience: how to overcome shallow certainty in scholarly communication

Recent media reports in Germany have brought renewed focus on predatory publishing practices and seen a notably increased use of the term “fake science”. But to what extent is this a worsening problem? Lambert Heller argues that predatory publishing has never really become a big thing, and that it became a thing at all is largely attributable to the simple […]

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    Unhelpful, caustic and slow: the academic community should rethink the way publications are reviewed

Unhelpful, caustic and slow: the academic community should rethink the way publications are reviewed

The current review system for many academic articles is flawed, hindering the publication of excellent, timely research. There is a lack of education for peer reviewers, either during PhD programmes or from journal publishers, and the lack of incentives to review compounds the problem. Thomas Wagenknecht offers up some solutions to the current system, including encouraging associate editors to […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.