This year, Peer Review Week 2022 (PRW 2022) is celebrating “the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality” with a focus on “Research Integrity: Creating and supporting trust in research”. We are grateful to this annual event for highlighting the important role peer reviewers play in science publishing. So, before we continue, a heartfelt thank you to all our reviewers and anyone who helps to support peer review.

Explaining the rationale behind this year’s theme, PRW 2022 suggests “With the “reproducibility crisis” and increased politicization of science testing trust in research, the issue of research integrity is arguably more important than ever. Identifying ways to ensure and promote quality peer review and confidence in the process is essential, especially now in the face of numerous global crises, including climate change and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.”

Unsurprisingly, the theme has generated a lot of discussion reflected in two posts from The Scholarly Kitchen which asks the “big” question, “Is Research Integrity Possible without Peer Review?”. Responses vary, but one that caught our eye was from David Smith, IET, “peer review isn’t there to ensure research integrity, it assumes it”.

MMNP – the first “PCI-friendly” mathematics journal

We recently reported that Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena (MMNP) had become the first “PCI-friendly” mathematics journal by embracing transparent peer review and preprints. Peer Community In (PCI) is a non-profit, non-commercial platform that openly publishes recommendations of preprints after peer-review through specific communities of researchers.

The process can be seen here as applied to the first paper to be published in MMNP which originated on the PCI platform. This ‘community’ approach is one way to promote quality peer review and confidence in the process and one we are happy to support.

Science Publishing Masterclasses

Over the past year, EDP Sciences has continued to deliver its Science Publishing Masterclasses in a range of settings, including the EPS Forum 2022 and the Institut de Mathématique d’Orsay. The Masterclasses are based on the idea that it’s never too early to begin! Today’s students and early career researchers are tomorrow’s authors and the sooner they get to grips with good peer review, the better it is for research and science.

Participants use NESTOR, the online submission and peer review system from EDP Sciences. This enables interactive, practical, hands-on training in science writing and peer reviewing using a real system. Participants are also introduced to Emergent Scientist, the first hands-on, open access, scientific journal for students and partner journal of the Masterclasses.

The next Masterclass will take place at the Faculté de Médecine on the Kremlin-Bicêtre hospital campus in Paris.

A final thought

“It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge and thank our peer reviewers for the vital part they play in the publication process,” commented France Citrini, Associate Publishing Director, EDP Sciences. “Peer Review Week is a highlight of the scholarly calendar and this year’s theme is particularly thought-provoking.”