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    Open Abstracts: a new peer review feature that helps scholars develop connections and encourages transdisciplinarity

Open Abstracts: a new peer review feature that helps scholars develop connections and encourages transdisciplinarity

The peer review process has been subjected to a steady stream of criticism in recent years. This has driven certain innovations, from revealing the content of the process post-publication, to crowdsourcing initiatives. Patrick Riechert and Frédéric Dubois introduce a new peer review feature that is currently being piloted on the journal, Internet Policy Review. Authors are invited to submit […]

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    Formal recognition for peer review will propel research forward

Formal recognition for peer review will propel research forward

Academic research has been beset by a number of disturbing problems in recent years; from the reproducibility crisis and long publication delays, right through to article retractions and admissions of researcher misconduct. This has led to increasing public and media scepticism as to the quality and integrity of research. Peer review remains the gold standard for ensuring that quality […]

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    Writing a peer review is a structured process that can be learned and improved – 12 steps to follow

Writing a peer review is a structured process that can be learned and improved – 12 steps to follow

Peer review not only helps to maintain the quality and integrity of scientific literature but is also key to a researcher’s development. As well as offering opportunities to keep abreast of current research and hone critical analysis skills, writing a peer review can teach you how to spot common flaws in research papers and improve your own chances of […]

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    Artificial intelligence can expedite scientific communication and eradicate bias from the publishing process

Artificial intelligence can expedite scientific communication and eradicate bias from the publishing process

Scientific publishing already uses some early artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to address certain issues with the peer review process, such as identifying new reviewers or fighting plagiarism. As part of a BioMed Central/Digital Science report on the future of peer review, Chadwick C. DeVoss outlines what other innovations AI might facilitate. Software with the capability to complete subject-oriented reviews […]

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What are the barriers to post-publication peer review?

Post-publication peer review emerged in response to increased calls for continuous moderation of the published research literature, consistent questioning of the functionality of the traditional peer review model, and a recognition that scientific discourse does not stop at the point of publication. However, uptake remains low overall. Jon Tennant sets out what the barriers to more widespread adoption of […]

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    Manipulating the peer review process: why it happens and how it might be prevented

Manipulating the peer review process: why it happens and how it might be prevented

Peer review continues to be upheld as the best way to evaluate academic research ahead of publication. Yet the peer review process has been consistently targeted and manipulated by authors, reviewers and even editors. Sneha Kulkarni reveals how this is happening and what might be done to prevent it, considering the merits of different peer review models but also […]

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    Why are interdisciplinary research proposals less likely to be funded? Lack of adequate peer review may be a factor.

Why are interdisciplinary research proposals less likely to be funded? Lack of adequate peer review may be a factor.

Recent findings suggest interdisciplinary research is less likely to be funded than discipline-based research proposals. Gabriele Bammer looks at how interdisciplinary research is currently peer reviewed and argues different review processes may well be required to do justice to these different kinds of interdisciplinarity. Discipline-based researchers may be ill-equipped to evaluate the integrative processes that an interdisciplinary proposal plans to […]

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    What do mathematicians think about their journals? Peer review quality tops list of stated issues

What do mathematicians think about their journals? Peer review quality tops list of stated issues

Cameron Neylon (Curtin University), David Michael Roberts (University of Adelaide) and Mark C Wilson (University of Auckland) have conducted a large-scale survey of what mathematicians think of their scholarly publishing options and what improvements are required. Covering topics like open access, peer review and editorial processes, the survey findings reveal some fascinating insights into the scholarly communication system as […]

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    Peer review and bibliometric indicators just don’t match up according to re-analysis of Italian research evaluation.

Peer review and bibliometric indicators just don’t match up according to re-analysis of Italian research evaluation.

The Italian research evaluation agency undertook an extensive analysis to compare the results of peer review and bibliometric indicators for research evaluation. Their findings suggested both indicators produced similar results. Researchers Alberto Baccini and Giuseppe De Nicolao re-examine these results and find notable disagreements between the two techniques of evaluation in the sample and outline below the major shortcoming in the Italian Agency’s […]

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    Selling impact: How is impact peer reviewed and what does this mean for the future of impact in universities?

Selling impact: How is impact peer reviewed and what does this mean for the future of impact in universities?

Despite a wealth of guidance from HEFCE, impact evaluation in the run-up to REF2014 was a relatively new experience for universities. How it was undertaken remains largely opaque. Richard Watermeyer and Adam Hedgecoe share their findings from a small but intensive ethnographic study of impact peer-review undertaken in one institution. Observations palpably confirmed a sense of a voyage into the unknown. […]

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    Breaking the traditional mould of peer review: Why we need a more transparent process of research evaluation.

Breaking the traditional mould of peer review: Why we need a more transparent process of research evaluation.

Jon Tennant takes a look at the transformations underway aimed at tackling the widespread dissatisfaction with the system of peer review. He provides further background on the platform ScienceOpen, which seeks to enable a process of transparent, self-regulating, peer review, where knowledge sharing is encouraged, valued, and rewarded. By adopting a more transparent process of research evaluation, we move one step […]

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    Peer review of teaching and the TEF – We need more than a tick-box exercise to improve the quality of teaching.

Peer review of teaching and the TEF – We need more than a tick-box exercise to improve the quality of teaching.

Improving teaching in universities is a worthy aim, but how will the Teaching Excellence Framework recognise and reward quality? Marty Chamberlain looks at how teaching is currently assessed. Peer review of teaching tends to operate superficially when it is decoupled from formal staff development and employee feedback processes. Further complicating matters, in professions underpinned by tacit knowledge, experts tend to rely on personal and […]

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    How to write a peer review to improve scholarship: Do unto others as you would wish them do unto you.

How to write a peer review to improve scholarship: Do unto others as you would wish them do unto you.

In academia, peer review functions as a quality-assurance mechanism which also aims to improve the scientific process as a whole. But few reviewers are provided with any training or mentoring on how to undertake a review. Hugh McLaughlin offers clarification on the process and the objective of peer review feedback and stresses the need for specific critical analysis for authors, […]

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    The nuts and bolts of peer review: what are the benefits for an early career researcher?

The nuts and bolts of peer review: what are the benefits for an early career researcher?

For many early career researchers, the trepidation in submitting a first review is hard to overcome. Jillian Hart shares her thoughts following a workshop run by Sense About Science aimed at uncovering the peer review process and tackling those anxieties. She reflects on the benefits for researchers, collectively and individually, in being part of a community of peer reviewers. In this age of consumerism […]

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    Time to abandon the gold standard? Peer review for the REF falls far short of internationally accepted standards.

Time to abandon the gold standard? Peer review for the REF falls far short of internationally accepted standards.

The REF2014 results are set to be published next month. Alongside ongoing reviews of research assessment, Derek Sayer points to the many contradictions of the REF. Metrics may have problems, but a process that gives such extraordinary gatekeeping power to individual panel members is far worse. Ultimately, measuring research quality is fraught with difficulty. Perhaps we should instead be asking which […]

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    “I only come here for the comments” – Exploring the controversy of post-publication peer review.

“I only come here for the comments” – Exploring the controversy of post-publication peer review.

The journal publishing model has long been criticised for being out of touch with modern, online communication trends. In the age of rapid-fire discussion, what hope is there for sustained, productive, peer review? Andy Tattersall looks at the shortcomings and opportunities of post-publication review online and picks apart the differences between reviewing, discussing and commenting in a scholarly context.

This […]

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    Would paying peer reviewers improve the system? Randomised control trial explores economists’ pro-social behaviour.

Would paying peer reviewers improve the system? Randomised control trial explores economists’ pro-social behaviour.

The What Works Centres are government initiatives to improve the use of evidence in policymaking. Max Nathan, the Deputy Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, turns the experimental table on researchers by exploring how cash incentives might work to improve the efficiency of peer review. The results are clear that small changes in journals’ policies […]

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    Crowd-Sourced Peer Review: Substitute or supplement for the current outdated system?

Crowd-Sourced Peer Review: Substitute or supplement for the current outdated system?

The problem with peer review today is that there is so much research being produced that there are not enough experts with enough time to peer-review it all. As we look to address this problem, issues of standards and hierarchy remain unsolved. Stevan Harnad wonders whether crowd-sourced peer review could match, exceed, or come close to the benchmark of […]

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    Altmetrics may be able to help in evaluating societal reach, but research significance must be peer reviewed.

Altmetrics may be able to help in evaluating societal reach, but research significance must be peer reviewed.

Social media indicators of scholarly communication, or commonly referenced as altmetrics, are still far from being adopted as part of everyday research evaluation, but they already have stated value in indicating what is interesting and popular. Kim Holmberg argues these indicators have exciting potential for measuring the impact of public outreach. But further research is necessary to fully understand their value and possible […]

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