Guidelines for open peer review implementation

Work from the OpenUp project has produced a new guidelines paper, written by Tony Ross-Hellauer and Edit Görögh, published in Research Integrity and Peer Review.

Guidelines for open peer review implementation is based on the outcomes from a workshop held in 2018 involving two EASE Council members, Bahar Mehmani (Elsevier) and Flaminio Squazzoni (Università degli Studi di Milano and PEERE Chair), along with several other experts in peer review and open peer review from major publishers and organisations, including BMC, BMJ, Copernicus Publications, eLife, Elsevier, F1000Research, Hindawi, MDPI, Nature, PLOS, Publons, the Royal Society, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley.

The workshop aimed to highlight the key barriers preventing adoption of open reviewing practices on a wider scale than they currently are, and discuss two key questions: one for those who had already implemented some form of OPR “what one thing would you have done differently?’ and one for those without OPR experience “what’s the one thing you’d really like to know first?

Despite being heavily discussed, and a prime feature of many conference agendas and discussions, a detailed and pragmatic understanding of methods and infrastructure required to fully embrace open reviewing has not been formerly determined. This paper addresses this gap by providing thorough best practice guidelines to guide implementations for editors and journals wanting to make the transition to open peer review.

The paper describes several traits, or expressions, of open peer review, such as open identities, open reports, open interaction, open participation/pre-review of manuscripts, how to decide which forms are most relevant to the goals desired, complementary to the community involved, and feasible for the technological, financial or other constraining factors.

The guidelines cover 26 modular steps built into 10 key themes, all of which are included in a summary checklist to make it easier for anyone debating a change of process to systematically work through the concepts discussed in the paper.

Extract from the Ross-Hellauer &

This article will serve as an excellent resource to demystify the concepts of open review, clarify the processes required to convert workflows and editorial practices into more transparent systems, as well as providing a functional template to structure the implementation.

We will be adding this paper as a resource in our Toolkit for Journal Editors.

Ross-Hellauer and Görögh. Guidelines for open peer review implementation. Research Integrity and Peer Review (2019) 4:4