ESE most read papers of April

In our monthly look at the top five most read papers from our journal European Science Editing we have three from our February issue; the Tennant et al. reviewer recommendations editorial and Olga Kirillova’s journal selection method paper, both of which are free to read, and members can access the Ho & Vuong paper on the value of openness in addressing the reproducibility crisis.

In addition to those, we have our hugely successful peer review card exchange game from the August 2018 issue, and finally a blast from the past of February 2013 with Ahmed & Gasparyan’s Criticism of peer review and ways to improve it.

European Science Editing (ESE) is the official, quarterly, peer reviewd journal of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE). Issues are made freely available 6 months after print publication. ESE publishes articles covering all aspects of scientific editing and publishing. It includes research articles, meeting reports, essays and viewpoints, book and website reviews, as well as highlighting events, resources and publications of interest to members.

Boon, bias or bane? The potential influence of reviewer recommendations on editorial decision-making
Jonathan P Tennant, Bart Penders, Tony Ross-Hellauer et al.
45(1) February 2019. Editorial
No formal investigations have been conducted into the efficacy or potential influence of reviewer recommendations on editorial decisions, and the impact of this on the expectations and behaviour of authors, reviewers and journal editors. This article addresses key questions about this critical aspect of the peer review submission process. We suggest several future steps which could be taken towards improving the review process and make it more transparent, better understood, and fairer for all parties.

Academic journals: selection methods for public support in Russia
Olga V Kirillova, Marina M Zeldina, Mikhail E Shvartsman
45(1) February 2019. Original articles
We have developed an evaluation procedure and performed an expert evaluation of the Russian academic journals to select promising journals under the “Support of Development Programmes for Academic Journals to Be Indexed in International Scientometric Databases” project. The aim of the article is to describe in detail the methods of the selection process for the project and its primary results. Selection of the journals falls into four stages: development of the preliminary list of journals (2,856 journals in the long list), evaluation of the journals from the preliminary list, evaluation of journal strategic plans and the final selection for financial support. As a result, 100 journals have been selected to be supported financially.

Criticism of peer review and ways to improve it
Hasan Shareef Ahmed & Armen Yuri Gasparyan
39(1) February 2013. Essays
This paper reviews some critical aspects of peer review in developed and developing countries. Though the peer review process is criticised for some of its drawbacks, it is still widely accepted as a tool for preserving the integrity and quality of scholarly communication. Peer review varies widely across journals and countries. Many developing and some developed countries suffer from substandard and biased peer review mainly due to the lack of training in peer review. The peer review process is still slow, expensive, poor in detecting scientific misconduct, and open to abuse. It needs reforming to make it more effective worldwide.

A peer review card exchange game
Ružica Tokalić & Ana Marušić
44(3) August 2018. Original articles
Introduction: Peer review aims to ensure the quality of research and help journal editors in the publication process. COST action PEERE, which explores peer review, including its efficiency, transparency and accountability, organised a peer review school endorsed by EASE. We developed a card exchange game based on responsibility and integrity in peer review for a hands-on training session.
Methods: We used the approach for the development of training materials about responsible research and innovation developed by the HEIRRI project, and the principles of the card game for the popularisation of the philosophy of science.
Results: We created 32 card statements about peer review, distributed across 6 domains: Responsiveness, Competence, Impartiality, Confidentiality, Constructive criticism and Responsibility to science. We adapted the instructions for the game and tested the game during the peer review school at the University of Split School of Medicine, Croatia, May 2018. The feedback by the participants was very positive.
Conclusions: The Peer Review Card Exchange Game could be used as an introductory activity for teaching integrity and ethics in peer review training.

The values and challenges of ‘openness’ in addressing the reproducibility crisis and regaining public trust in social sciences and humanities
Manh-Tung Ho & Quan-Hoang Vuong
45(1) February 2019. Essays
No Abstract