PEERE Nature paper encourages systematic study of peer review

Illustration by David Parkins, Nature

A group of authors involved in the PEERE project, lead by Flaminio Squazzoni, including several members from EASE Council and our community, have published a paper in Nature, titled Unlock ways to share data on peer review which calls for “Journals, funders and scholars [to] work together to create an infrastructure to study peer review.”

The article combines the output from a meeting between researchers, publishers and tech companies, held in October 2018, to discuss best practices, methods, and infrastructure required for peer review data sharing; and the results of a pilot project to enable the efficient systematic study of peer review.

Despite the wide interest and value placed on peer review, current research on the process is very limited, fragmented, and generally restricted to a few journals, partly because acquiring the data to facilitate the research is difficult to acquire, and often only available from journals with processes that lend themselves to open practices, or from such a limited number of donated titles that generalizations are hard to make.

This paper presents arguments for the benefits of creating a system of greater interoperability and transparency, that could help us determine which models and practices of peer review are most efficient, best promote research integrity and reliability, and a whole host of other insights.

Squazzoni F. et al. Unlock ways to share data on peer review. Nature 578, 512-514 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-00500-y