“Why do we put up with it? Do we like to be criticized? No, no scientist enjoys it. Every scientist feels a proprietary affection for his or her ideas and findings.
Even so, you don’t reply to critics, “Wait a minute; this is a really good idea; I’m very fond of it; it’s done you no harm; please leave it alone.” Instead, the hard but just rule is that if the ideas don’t work, you must throw them away.” (Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark).
Peer Review Week 2019 is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year and is now a key event in the scholarly communications calendar. This year’s theme is ‘Quality in Peer Review’ and we are very pleased to support its aims of emphasizing the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication; showcasing the work of editors and reviewers; sharing research and advance best practices; and highlighting the latest innovation and applications. It also encourages us to pause and reflect on our work as publishers and the vital role of peer review in our day-to-day interactions.
Publons Reviewer Recognition Service
Looking back on the year, arguably the most significant step was signing a new agreement for the ‘Publons Reviewer Recognition Service’, initially for five journals (read the detailed announcement here). Publons is “Working with Publishers to bring recognition, transparency, quality, and efficiency to peer review” and we hope investment in this service will give reviewers greater recognition of their crucial role in the publishing process and their vital contribution to academic rigour more generally.
4open – Open Science in action
Amongst the five journals included in the Publons agreement is 4open, an international multi- and inter-disciplinary open access journal built on the four pillars of Open Science. The Open Peer Review element is optional and needs the “opt-in” of all parties. The 4open team is very much looking forward to publishing its first article under these terms and making the accompanying peer review reports freely available. It is also worth noting that 4open is a signatory to ASAPBio’s “Open letter on the publication of peer review reports”.
Scientific Writing Masterclasses – nurturing the next generation of peer reviewers
Over the past year, EDP Sciences successfully launched its ‘Scientific Writing Masterclasses’ to enable early career researchers and students to better understand scholarly publishing. Peer-review is a major element of the masterclasses and participants review articles using the submission system of a journal and receive constructive feedback on their own articles.
Understanding the process of peer review and getting research published is daunting for young scientists.
Anne Ruimy, Senior Publisher, EDP Science
To support the masterclasses, video interviews with the Editors-in-Chief of the Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate and Parasite have been produced. In these interviews, Editors give advice to early career researchers, discuss the editorial process at their journal, and share common reasons for acceptance or rejection of articles. View the interviews here.
Other videos – Editors-in-Chief at the frontline of peer review
Last year, we produced a number of videos exploring the theme of ‘Diversity in Peer Review’. Editors-in-Chief discussed the key challenges in promoting diversity and inclusion in peer review.
Reflections on peer review were also included in this year’s Astronomy & Astrophysics 50th anniversary video which is available on the A&A website. Look out for Alvaro Hacar Gonzalez from Leiden University sharing some fascinating and eloquent insights into peer review.
A recent Scholarly Kitchen article, “Technological Support for Peer Review Innovations”, explored three major areas of interest for peer review: 1) publishing peer reviews, 2) credit for co-reviewers, and 3) peer review portability. In each of these areas, EDP Sciences is taking steps to support the needs and wishes of researchers, funders and editors. We are pleased to support open peer review, to support COPE and adhere to its guidelines and to invest in services such as the Publons Reviewer Recognition Service.
“We are committed to supporting greater efficiency in the peer review process and clearly demonstrating the value we place on the expertise and hard work of reviewers.
France Citrini, Associate Publishing Director