21 Dos and Don’ts for Journal Writers and Reviewers

Posted in Research on April 25th, 2019 by steve

“We don’t like to think of ourselves as old, but – submitting our first publication in graduate school entailed making five photocopies of the manuscript, printing and hand-signing a cover letter on campus letterhead, sealing both into a large manila envelope, and dropping it into a mailbox. The world of academic publishing is far different today …” (more)

[Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan and Wendy Troop-Gordon, Chronicle of Higher Education, 24 April]

Tags: ,

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

Posted in Research on April 17th, 2019 by steve

International“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 of scholarly publication …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 17 April]

Tags: ,

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

Posted in Research on September 14th, 2018 by steve

“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 views being subject to public scrutiny …” (more)

[Jaime A Teixeira da Silva, LSE Impact Blog, 14 September]


Don’t Even Think of Publishing in This Journal

Posted in Research on August 16th, 2018 by steve

“A major higher education research journal is suspending submissions to clear out a two-year backlog. Some see this case pointing to broad problems in academic publishing, such as the unwillingness of many scholars to review papers …” (more)

[Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 16 August]

Tags: ,

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

Posted in Research on June 22nd, 2018 by steve

“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 …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 22 June]

Tags: ,

Is peer review bad for your mental health?

Posted in Research on April 19th, 2018 by steve

“Amidst fears of a mental health crisis in higher education, to what extent is the peer review process a contributing factor? It’s a process fraught with uncertainty, as authors try to forge something constructive from often mixed feedback or occasionally downright unhelpful comments. Helen Kara stresses the importance of being aware of the effects of uncertainty and taking steps to reduce its impact. Focus on what you can control, prepare for different outcomes, acknowledge how you’re feeling, and make sure to practise self-care …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 19 April]

Tags: ,

Scientific peer review: an ineffective and unworthy institution

Posted in Research on December 12th, 2017 by steve

“Given the entirely appropriate degree of respect that science has for data, the ongoing discussion of peer review is often surprisingly data-free and underlain by the implicit assumption that peer review – although in need of improvement – is indispensable …” (more)

[Les Hatton and Gregory Warr, Times Higher Education, 9 December]

Tags: ,

The peer review system has flaws. But it’s still a barrier to bad science

Posted in Research on September 20th, 2017 by steve

International“Democracy and scientific peer review have something in common: it’s a ‘system full of problems but the least worst we have’. That’s the view of Richard Smith, a medical doctor and former editor of the illustrious British Medical Journal …” (more)

[Brenda Wingfield, The Conversation, 20 September]

Tags: , ,

Amidst criticism of the peer review process, the valuable contributions of reviewers should be defended

Posted in Research on September 16th, 2017 by steve

“As flaws in the peer review process are highlighted and calls for reform become more frequent, it may be tempting for some to denigrate and dismiss the contributions of the reviewers themselves. Maxine David has been witness to this and here makes an appeal to give space to recognise those who offer their time and expertise voluntarily and generously …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 16 September]

Tags: ,

Formal recognition for peer review will propel research forward

Posted in Research on June 1st, 2017 by steve

“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 …” (more)

[Andrew Preston and Tom Culley, Impact of Social Sciences, 1 June]

Tags: ,

Gender bias distorts peer review across field

Posted in Research on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

International“In many scientific fields, women publish fewer papers than men, are less likely to be listed as first authors and are less likely to receive glowing letters of recommendation from their advisers. These disparities have decreased over time, but they persist. Now, a study finds that some journal editors might be inadvertently taking gender into account when selecting reviewers for papers …” (more)

[Erin Ross, Nature News, 21 March]

Tags: , ,

The peer-review system for academic papers is badly in need of repair

Posted in Research on February 26th, 2017 by steve

International“Peer review, or scientific refereeing, is the basis of the academic process. It’s a rigorous evaluation that aims to ensure only work which advances knowledge is published in a scientific journal. Scientists must be able to trust this system: if they see that something is peer reviewed, it should be a hallmark of quality …” (more)

[Michael Rose and Willem Boshoff, The Conversation, 26 February]

Tags: ,

‘You never said my peer review was confidential’ – scientist challenges publisher

Posted in Research on January 23rd, 2017 by steve

International“Are peer-reviewers free to openly share the content of their reviews if journal editors haven’t explicitly told them not to? Jon Tennant, a scientist-turned-outreach specialist, thinks so. Tennant had reviewed a research paper submitted to the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology …” (more)

[Quirin Schiermeier, Nature News, 23 January]

Tags: , , ,

Peer review is in crisis, but should be fixed, not abolished

Posted in Research on November 15th, 2016 by steve

USA“This year three Nobel Prize-winning biologists broke with tradition and published their research directly on the internet as so-called preprints. Their motivation? Saving time …” (more)

[Tricia Serio, The Conversation, 15 November]

Tags: ,

Top peer reviewers are motivated by their dedication to science

Posted in Research on September 24th, 2016 by steve

USA“When Jonas Ranstam wakes up in the morning, one of the first things he does is review other people’s scientific papers. By his count, the independent medical statistician spends 24 hours a week peer reviewing – and in sum, over the past year, he has reviewed 661 papers …” (more)

[Shannon Palus, Slate, 23 September]


Robot-written reviews fool academics

Posted in Research on September 23rd, 2016 by steve

International“Soulless computer algorithms are already churning out weather bulletins, sports reports, rap lyrics and even passable Chinese poetry. But it seems machines have now taken another step towards replacing human enterprise by generating their own reviews of serious academic journal papers that are able to impress even experienced academics …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 20 September]


Would peer review work better if reviewers talked to each other?

Posted in Research on September 21st, 2016 by steve

UK“Would distributing all reviewers’ reports for a specific paper amongst every referee before deciding whether to accept or reject a manuscript make peer review fairer and quicker? This idea — called ‘cross-referee commenting’ — is being implemented by the journal Development, as part of its attempt to improve the peer-review process …” (more)

[Retraction Watch, 21 September]

Tags: ,

Peer Review in the Humanities and Social Sciences: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It?

Posted in Research on September 21st, 2016 by steve

USA“While much of the contemporary debate around peer review focuses on both journal articles and STEM fields, here we are going to focus on humanities and social science (HSS) fields where both longer articles and book-length projects are more common. Does HSS peer review have the same functions, goals, and challenges as STEM peer review? …” (more)

[Alison Mudditt, The Scholarly Kitchen, 21 September]

Tags: , ,

Why not make academic journal acceptance portable?

Posted in Research on May 16th, 2016 by steve

USA“In a changing market, authors increasingly find themselves negotiating with publishers to see their work to completion, even after they successfully navigate academic peer review, writes, Michael S Evans. The solution is to make journal acceptance portable …” (more)

[Inside Higher Ed, 16 May]

Tags: ,

Should academics be paid for peer review?

Posted in Research on March 18th, 2016 by steve

UK“As the number of papers needing review increases, journals are thinking of replacing a voluntary system with cash rewards. A big part of being an academic is working for free. Not only do many researchers work beyond their contracted hours, as other employees do, but they also agree to review the work of their peers, unpaid …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 16 March]