Peer review is central to the research process and especially for the publishing process. It is not a transparent process: reviewing is done by anonymous reviewers and comments are not available to the readers. There are problems with the review process which can take a long time and it might be seen by the author as the reviewers’ way to tyrannize by demanding more experiments or more interviews. There are cases where more experiments support the made arguments but just as often it leads to extra costs.
Therefore it is interesting to read a in BioMed Central blog about how open review could work. Biology Direct started to experiment with open reviewing for 7 years ago. They made the reviewers names and comments available together with the published article. The editors mean that these comments have created a forum for constructive and open discussions concerning new results and ideas. Also, the quality of publications has improved; articles are well cited and read. They have also noticed that open review is more attractive to those who do non-experimental research. This makes me wonder how well would open review work for e.g. Humanities and Social Sciences?
Another thing that might also facilitate and shorten the review-process and improve article quality is what we wrote here before about letting the methodological discussions take more space in the articles.
What works for one area might not work at all in another area. University of Borås has researchers doing artistic research with exhibitions and shows which are considered publications in this area. They are also discussing peer review and what it means for them. There are at least two ways for peer review in artistic research: 1) to be invited to exhibit one’s work or 2) be accepted among other potential exhibitors. The latter process reminds of the process researchers within other areas are subjected to. How would open review work in this area or is it maybe so that it already is transparent? Could it be even more transparent?
Text: Pieta Eklund