It’s here – the first (but hopefully not the last) Peer Review Week! Over the past few weeks, it’s been great to see the community rally to contribute to celebrating peer review and the fundamental role it plays in scholarly communications.
Given the short notice (it was conceived in August and announced on September 10) and limited resources (just four organizations – ORCID, ScienceOpen, Sense About Science, and Wiley – were involved in the initial planning), the response has been encouraging – in the first two weeks there were 340 tweets from 180 twitter handles. And the depth and breadth of organizations and people who are getting involved is encouraging; from major publishers like Elsevier, Oxford University Press, and Taylor & Francis to smaller organizations like ISMTE (the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors), Publons, and Open Scholar, it’s been very heartening to see so many positive responses. The types of activities being planned are also diverse — and, in some cases, being kept secret until later in the week so keep your eyes open! (Spoiler alert – at ORCID we will be announcing the first implementations of our new peer review functionality, which enables organizations to recognize all sorts of review activities by adding them to the reviewer’s ORCID record.)
But the real question is, should Peer Review Week become an annual event? Is there enough enthusiasm within our community to support it? If so, who should organize it? How will it be resourced? When should it take place?
It’s probably clear by now that I and my fellow Peer Review Week 2015 volunteers would love to see Peer Review Week continue. Peer review is at the heart of so many elements of scholarly communications – not just publications but grants, conference submissions, promotion and tenure, and more. It’s something that most researchers do, yet they are rarely recognized for it. Surveys (such as this) show that most of them don’t want or expect any monetary reward for reviewing, but they would like their efforts to be formally acknowledged in some way. And increasingly they want their institutions to appreciate the value of reviews to the scholarly communications process – and to recognize the amount of time being spent on it.
Our hope is that, if it becomes an annual event, Peer Review Week can help, by providing the scholarly community with an opportunity to focus on why peer review matters, to debate the many diverse efforts to support and improve it and, above all, to recognize the researchers who dedicate so much time and care to it.
We’d very much like to hear your views. Are you celebrating Peer Review Week 2015? If so, what are you doing? If not, why not? Would you like it to become an annual event? Is September the right time? How should it be organized in future? Would you/your organization like to get involved?
Whatever happens, we hope that Peer Review Week 2015 will create some immediate momentum, as well as some longer-lasting benefits for the scholarly community. To that end, Sense About Science plans to make any peer review resources shared this week available on their blog; similarly, ScienceOpen will be adding a thematic bundle on peer review to its existing Collections. Maybe next year we will be able to create a community-wide site for peer review resources!
In the meantime, you can join in Peer Review Week 2015 by tweeting (#peerrevwk15), downloading and using the logo, attending the free webinar on Trust and Transparency in Peer Review, sharing the many blog posts that will be published this week (and/or writing your own!), and organizing your own events in your community.