Editor’s Note: The post was primarily drafted by Alice Meadows, chair of the Peer Review Week planning committee, with help from fellow committee member, Angela Cochran.
Peer Review Week 2015 was a small, experimental, toe-in-the-water kind of event. But it struck a chord with many individuals and organizations. As a result, we are delighted to announce that the second Peer Review Week will take place this year from September 19-26.
This global event celebrates the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality, bringing together individuals, institutions, and organizations committed to sharing the central message that good peer review — whatever shape or form it might take — is critical to scholarly communications.
The theme of this year’s Peer Review Week is “Recognition for Review”. We want to explore all aspects of how those participating in review activity — publishing, grant review, conference submissions, promotion and tenure, and more — should be recognized for their contribution.
There’s an increasing body of evidence that, while researchers don’t want or expect to be paid for peer review, they do want recognition for it — not least because of the amount of time they spend on it!
Taylor & Francis’ recent survey found that “playing their part as a member of the academic community, reciprocating the benefit, and improving papers were the most important motivations for carrying out reviews.” Additionally, in a 2014 open letter to universities, funders, and other research institutions in Australia, a group of journal editors identified the need for “more direct recognition of reviewing and editing services as a part of academic roles.”
Of course, services such as Publons and PRE already provide a way for publishers to recognize reviewers while still maintaining control over what information about the review process is shared. Publisher initiatives include published reviewer lists, reward programs for reviewers, and reviewer profiles. There are very important discussions happening between journal publishers and the communities they serve around the levels of openness and in many cases recognition.
And, with my ORCID hat on*, another potential opportunity for this kind of recognition is ORCID’s peer review functionality, which enables any organization that uses peer reviewers to recognize their contributions by adding information about review activities to an individual’s ORCID record. This information can be very sparse (for double blind peer review) or comprehensive (for open peer review), or anything in between.
One big change for Peer Review Week this year is that over 20 organizations are represented on the planning committee. This has given us much broader representation, although in fairness, we are still mostly limited to journals publishers from North America and the UK. We would love to see more participation from other regions, books publishers, and non-publishing organizations that undertake peer review, such as funders, universities and research institutions, associations, and more.
It’s not too late to volunteer to join the planning committee and, of course, everyone is invited to help support Peer Review Week by engaging with our social campaign #PeerRevWk16 and #RecognizeReview. We encourage you to share our content and create your own (e.g., blog posts, editorials, social media shout outs to your reviewers). Feel free to use the Peer Review Week logo available here in promoting your activities.
Most importantly, tell us what you are planning to do for the celebration. Email us with the subject line “Peer Review Week” and include a brief description of the event or resource and we will try to feature it on the Peer Review Week website.
Planned activities so far include virtual and in-person events such as webinars, videos, interviews, and social media activities designed to improve understanding of the principle of peer review and how it is practiced within the scholarly community. We are also pulling together a comprehensive list of online resources to advance our understanding of peer review and its role in 21st century scholarship.
If you care about peer review and the important role it plays in scholarly communication, come help us celebrate!
*Full disclosure: the author of this post, Alice Meadows, is the Director of Community Engagement & Support for ORCID.