Structure Peer Review to Make it More Robust

Structure Peer Review to Make it More Robust 1024 576 Open and Universal Science (OPUS) Project

To bolster the robustness of peer review, it’s essential to introduce a structured framework ensuring consistency and thoroughness across manuscript assessments. This framework involves transparently posing a defined set of questions to reviewers, primarily focusing on methodological, analytical, and interpretive aspects of the submitted work.

Editors should furnish reviewers with these specific queries, prompting considerations such as the adequacy of method descriptions for reproducibility, the necessity of supplementary statistical analyses, and the alignment of authors’ interpretations with data and methodology. Constructive criticism should be provided where deficiencies are identified, and reviewers should declare any areas where their expertise might be lacking.

This structured approach allows for fair and comprehensive evaluations while alleviating reviewers from evaluating aspects such as novelty, impact, and linguistic quality, which can be handled by editorial staff or automated systems, thus optimizing reviewer workload.

Publishing the predetermined set of review questions on journal websites empowers authors to tailor their submissions accordingly. Moreover, full disclosure of review reports enables transparency and facilitates the study of peer-review practices, enhancing accountability and trustworthiness within the scientific community.

Demonstrating the efficacy of structured peer review, ongoing collaborations with publishers like Elsevier have shown promising results in achieving greater reviewer consensus and agreement on manuscript evaluation.

Encouragingly, more journals are adopting structured review practices, with some already implementing tailored sets of questions for specific study types. However, standardization remains a challenge, as differing journal standards can lead to inconsistent reviewer assessments.

It’s imperative to recognize the necessity for uniform quality control across scientific literature, akin to other industries’ safety standards. This entails adopting standardized review processes to ensure public confidence in research integrity and reliability.

Moving forward, the vision is for universal adoption of a common set of review questions across journals, coupled with full transparency in review reports. Such a unified approach is essential for advancing scientific progress and maintaining the integrity of scholarly discourse.

By Mario Malički

Photo via Aparna Nambiar

Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Our Privacy Policy can be read here.

Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
Click to enable/disable video embeds.
Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.