Peer review is the process in which authors' submitted works are scrutinised by experts in the same field. The aim is to help ensure that only high quality research is published and for feedback to be provided to authors on how they may improve their manuscript.
Traditionally, peer review has been a closed process. For example, the reviewers' identities are not usually disclosed to the authors and their reports are not made public. There has been criticism of this process, because it can be slow, open to bias, and open to abuse.
Peer review is evolving and in some publications openness is increasing.
Open peer review opens up the peer review process, trying to bring greater transparency, accountability, and inclusivity. Some of the common aspects of Open Peer Review are:
There are a number of models of Open Peer Review involving various combinations of aspects and it may take place pre- or post- publication. For example, a journal may operate a system where the reviewer reports are published online alongside the article, but the reviewers are not named.
To find out more about Open Peer Review:
As an author you can choose to submit your work to a journal which undertakes Open Peer Review.
You may wish to be a reviewer for a journal which undertakes Open Peer Review or be a public reviewer if this is an option. The SHU principles of good research practice for peer reviewers provides a code of conduct for individuals who review the work of others.
If you are an editor of a publication, you may wish to discuss how to make the peer review process more Open with your publisher. The paper below is a starting point for considering Open Peer Review for editors and publishers.
Ross-Hellauer, T., Görögh, E. (2019) Guidelines for open peer review implementation. Research Integrity and Peer Review, 4:4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-019-0063-9
The following are some of the possible advantages of Open Peer Review:
The following are some of the possible disadvantages of Open Peer Review: