Background & aim:
After 12 years of working with reviewers and associate editors, we decided to open a new window for all of our editors as well as authors titled "Open Peer Review". We hope by this new facility, our reviewers will be more motivated and authors will be more satisfied with the review process.
We believe that publishing our peer review reports could make a transparent and clear environment for all our efforts within a journal, but not all reviewers tend to publish their comments.
What is "Open Peer Review" process?
An "Open Peer Review" process is making the details of all review process (including reviewers, associate editors, and EICs comments) as "Public" as it is agreed by EIC, Authors, and reviewers.
Advantages of "Open Peer Review" process
- More transparency, constructiveness and tactful comments of the peer review process: leads to an increase in the quality of reviews
- More motivations for all involved roles in the review process
- Authors' satisfactions from the review process: Increases honesty between authors and reviewers
- Education of both authors and new students
- Prevents reviewers from following their individual agendas and leading to the detection of reviewers' conflicts of interests
The project of "Open Peer Review" will be started from 1 Sep 2019 in all of Kowsar journals.
Disadvantages of "Open Peer Review"
- In some cases, the rate of “Decline for Review” may be increased.
- More claims from some English-Speaking Authors regarding the quality of comments
- There may have a kind of threatening against high risk authors in their scientific life
Types of reviewers in Open Peer review
- Signed-Reviewers: These reviewers agree to be declared with their names and affiliations in the public journal website.
- Anonymous-Reviewers: This type of reviewers are anonymous for the public but known for EIC while only their comments will be publicly available.
Which Publishers are using "Open Peer Review"?
Based on a simple search, we have found the below publishers tried/are trying "Open Peer Review" process in some of or all of their journals:
- Biomed Central
- EMBO Press
- Publons: Publons maintains a list of journals that allow them to display peer review information, though what information can be displayed varies. However, this is not a complete list of all journals publishing peer review reports.
- TRANSPOSE: is a new initiative that provides a framework for collecting journal policies on open peer review, co-reviewing, and preprinting. Contributions from anyone are welcome.
Basic Structure of a report of Open Peer Review
A sample of this report from one of the EMBO journals could be read here.
- This report could be in HTML or PDF format.
- The report must be linked (included) in the HTML full text of an article.
- A separate DOI could be assigned to the report so that the reviewers, as well as authors, will be able to easily cite their comments.
- Header: Journal info, article meta
- Title of the article, authors, all important dates (in the Review Timelines), editor's name
- Editor's note
- All editorial decision including EIC, AE, Reviewers (role, date, details)
- Authors' response (date, details)
- Final editorial decisions
The EMBO press described the related issues in this page.
A model of Peer Review process and contents of Open Peer Review Report
Here you may find a sample model of open peer review process in Kowsar journals.
Our ultimate goal
We have developed this option as a new feature of our journal management system under consultation with our editorial board all our expert reviewers to find out the best way for creating a transparent environment for both our authors and reviewers. In this tough way, we need your war messages are more than welcomed to us. Please be in contact with us via our support portal at www.publisher.support
ASAPbio (Accelerating Science and Publication in biology) is a scientist-driven nonprofit working to address this problem by promoting innovation and transparency in life sciences communication. In the FAQ pages of this website, you may find much interesting info about Open Peer Review. Read also this commentary.