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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Peer review scams – in which reviews were submitted under the names of real researchers but with fake, non-institutional emails administered by those involved – have heightened curiosity about the email addresses used by researchers in their publications. Ronald Rousseau reports on research examining the prevalence of commercial email addresses in scholarly articles, their distribution per country, and whether […]
There is little evidence to suggest peer reviewer training programmes improve the quality of reviews
In little more than a year a number of peer reviewer training programmes have launched, promising to help early-career researchers learn how to do peer review, review more efficiently, and connect with editors at top journals. This follows an expressed need from graduate students and postdocs for precisely this sort of training. But can these new programmes deliver? And as […]
Academics today have to publish to succeed. In Publish or Perish: Perceived Benefits versus Unintended Consequences, Imad A. Moosa assesses the disastrous consequences of this view for academics, both personally and academically. Review by James Hartley.
This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books and is published under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 UK license.
Publish or Perish: Perceived Benefits Versus Unintended Consequences. Imad A. […]