The State of The Art in Peer Review

A discussion paper on the current state of peer review in scholarly publishing, authored by Jon Tennant, has been published in FEMS Microbiology Letters.

The article asserts the importance of peer review as a defining characteristic of the formal research publication process, assesses some of the traditional ways it has been conducted over recent years, presents modern developments in the form, function and value that the process can play.

Using a series of tables to illustrate the differences between present and future, Tennant considers some enhancements and developments that peer review may benefit from, looking at its role in certification and reputation of individual researchers, moderation and quality control of research, engagement incentives, and the way in which these are all inextricably linked. As such, Tennant is also careful to provide reasons why significant changes to the current structure of peer review have been slow to develop. Appropriate acknowledgement is given to each key stakeholder in the traditional process, such as publishers, societies and individual researchers, evaluating the values in the current system and the benefits innovation would bring.

It is a thorough and insightful paper, and another step towards practical solutions to problems in the much criticised, but deeply entrenched, traditional peer review process. .

The paper was formerly published a  preprint on SocArXiv and is available in multiple formats here:

Jonathan P Tennant; The state of the art in peer review, FEMS Microbiology Letters, fny204,