Editor’s note: Today’s post is by the Co-Chairs of this year’s Peer Review Week Steering Group. Roohi Ghosh is the Ambassador for Researcher Outreach, Engagement, and Success at CACTUS. Maria Machado is a scientific reviewer, blogger, and independent publishing consultant at Stories4Sci. Gareth Dyke is the Academic Director at Reviewer Credits. Maryam Sayab is a Director of Communications at the Asian Council of Science Editors.

We’re delighted to reveal the eagerly awaited theme for this year’s Peer Review Week (Sept 23-27, 2024): “Innovation and Technology in Peer Review.” Peer Review Week is a globally recognized, annual, community-led, virtual event that celebrates the indispensable role of peer review in upholding research quality. It has developed into a pivotal platform for researchers, publishers, editors, and other stakeholders to converge, exchange insights, and spotlight the latest advancements in scholarly communication.

Peer Review Week 2024 marks a significant milestone in our collective journey to elevate peer review practices and foster collaboration across the scholarly community. Focusing on “Innovation and Technology in Peer Review,” we aim to underscore the critical intersection of cutting-edge technologies and peer review processes. This theme reflects our commitment to address the evolving needs of the academic landscape, embrace innovation, and foster best practices.

While highlighting the “Innovation and Technology in Peer Review,” it’s clear that artificial intelligence (AI) is shaping the future of scholarly communication. AI-powered tools and algorithms present exciting opportunities to boost efficiency, transparency, and rigor of peer review processes. From compiling metadata for/from aggregators, indexing purposes, and predicting demand for stock, to automating manuscript screening and aiding in decision-making, these advancements are expected to streamline workflows, mitigate bias, and hasten the spread of scholarly insights.

Yet, amidst the excitement surrounding AI-driven innovation, it’s crucial to pause and consider the implications. Worries about algorithmic bias, data privacy, and the potential displacement of human expertise underline the importance of integrating AI into peer review workflows thoughtfully and responsibly. While AI can undoubtedly aid in keyword extraction, abstract composition, and the production of plain language summaries, it is debatable whether it will enhance human capabilities and elevate the quality of peer review. AI may enable researchers and reviewers to focus on substance rather than formatting, particularly those for whom English isn’t a first language, but maintaining transparency, accountability, and ethical standards remains paramount to safeguarding the integrity and fairness of the process.

Research integrity and DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility) are also crucial considerations when discussing innovations in peer review. Addressing many of the world’s challenges, such as those outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, requires a multidisciplinary approach. AI can assist in diversifying and broadening the reviewer pool by identifying and recommending qualified reviewers from various fields and backgrounds. While AI has prompted concerns regarding integrity, it also holds potential as a tool for detecting and flagging ethical issues and inconsistencies in research.

We are witnessing changes in the approach to peer review, driven by technological advancements and a growing emphasis on inclusivity and integrity. At this year’s celebrations, we aim to initiate a dialogue on these evolving practices and explore the future of peer review.

This year’s theme “Innovation and Technology in Peer Review” was chosen through a global poll to represent the collective voice of the academic community. After careful consideration and collaboration, the 2024 Steering Group, co-chaired by Roohi Ghosh, Gareth Dyke, Maryam Sayab, and Maria Machado, has selected this dynamic theme to explore the evolving landscape of peer review in the digital age.

Choosing the theme was no small feat. The steering committee initially proposed 26 compelling themes, reflecting the diverse perspectives and priorities within the peer review community. From these, four emerged as the most promising, based on the votes of the committee members themselves. Finally, these four themes were presented to the public, allowing for input from stakeholders across the globe. “Innovation and Technology in Peer Review” emerged as the clear choice, embracing technology to broaden the reach of peer review and ease the adoption of innovative practices as shown in Figure 1

Bar chart showing votes for themes.
Figure 1:  Global Peer Review Week Theme Poll Results

As we kick off Peer Review Week 2024, we warmly invite the global peer review community to join us in exploring the convergence of innovation, technology, and peer review. Through a series of dynamic events, and thought-provoking discussions, we aim to applaud past achievements, confront current challenges, and chart a path toward a more inclusive, transparent, and efficient peer review landscape.

Stay tuned for updates on Peer Review Week 2024 as we come together to discuss innovation and technology in peer review.

Roohi Ghosh

Roohi Ghosh

Roohi Ghosh is the ambassador for researcher success at Cactus Communications (CACTUS). She is passionate about advocating for researchers and amplifying their voices on a global stage.

Maria Machado

Maria Machado is a writer, reviewer, analyst, and blogger. Throughout her scientific career, she published on microcirculation and vascular physiology. Now, she specializes in reviewing scientific papers (over 400), FAIR research design, and science communication. She can be regularly seen volunteering in events such as Pint of Science or European Researcher's Night, attempting to bring scientists and society closer via clear communication (https://stories4sci.blogspot.com/). Her passion for multiculturalism and open science is rooted in her experience as a nomadic scientist living and working in many different places. She advocates for transparent practices, equity, and effective training.

Gareth Dyke

Gareth Dyke has a PhD in palaeontology and has authored more than 380 peer reviewed research articles. He works at the Academic Director at Reviewer Credits and as a publishing consultant. He is a specialist in online training and solutions for researchers, connecting with publishers.

Maryam Sayab

Maryam Sayab is the Director of Communication at the Asian Council of Science Editors, a pioneering community dedicated to shaping the future of scholarly publishing in Asia. She is also an Ambassador for the Center for Open Science and Co-Chair of the Peer Review Week Committee. With nine years of experience in scholarly communication and publishing, she excels in science communication, editorial work, on-demand training, and project management.


1 Thought on "Peer Review Week 2024: “Innovation and Technology in Peer Review”"

Thank you for your perspective.

I would like to just bring in our two cents here and let the community know about an interesting collaboration in automated peer review.

SciScore, a text mining tool is dedicated to helping authors, peer reviewers, and editors understand their documents with regard to rigor checks such as the NIH criteria, STAR methods, and MDAR ( implemented by Science Magazine).

Our recent data has shown that multiple indicators of rigor improve with consistent tool use at a publisher. Early but significant results also show that the scores are associated with the reject/accept decision.

Over the last year we have been working with members of the rigor and transparency community including other toolmakers and the UK’s NC3Rs to add support for the ARRIVE guidelines, see press release

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