Sunday, July 11, 2010

Peer Review about to Change?

Peer review is a critical part of the journal article process involves an editor selecting those who are best qualified to review specific articles.

Now Elsevier are to pilot a new approach which turns the process on its heads and through the use of its PeerChoice software enables the reviewers to select the articles that match their academic competencies and interests. The process still needs to be done within a time period but instead of pushing articles to reviewers the processes effectively allows reviewers to pull them. All the checks and balances of the peer review process remain to ensure the expected high quality of the process. Elsevier is piloting the new programme for three months on its Chemical Physics Letters journal.

The new approach follows a survey by Elsevier which highlighted that many reviewers are sometimes hesitant to review an article because of their lack of expertise in that particular field and that researchers wanted to improve peer review by increasing the relevancy of articles and the turnaround time.

Opening peer review is interesting in that it obviously starts to empower the reviewers but it is also dangerous as it could dilute the quality of the current process and is dependant of there being the right level as well as the right relevance of response and remember reviewers do it for free.

No comments: