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The open peer review process has been around for a couple of decades now. Of late, it is gaining wider acceptance with authors, reviewers, and publishers who have realized that it encourages greater transparency and participation in the peer review process. The open science movement, with its focus on open access (OA), has also contributed to the greater popularity of the open peer review process.
In the traditional peer review process, reviewers remain anonymous. In an open peer review, the identity of the reviewer is made public. Certain other aspects of the review process such as the platform and the review report may also be made public. Researchers have been quick to embrace open peer review with the belief that it ushers in greater responsibility and accountability while offering all parties equitable protection.
Here are five things you should know about open peer review and its role in OA research.
- Open peer review is not confined to the invited reviewers. Anyone from the larger research community can contribute to the review process. This is to foster open scientific discussion that can help enhance the research. Those wanting to comment on an article must provide their full name and affiliation. They are also required to declare any competing interests.
- Open peer review can happen after publication. Unlike traditional peer review, here, it takes place after publication. This helps eliminate the research from being held up by reviewers and lets others benefit from it even during the review period. On some platforms, the review status is mentioned alongside the article, making it easy for readers to know the progress of the review.
- It is an excellent opportunity for early career researchers (ECRs). By participating in the open peer review process as co-reviewers, ECRs can build up their portfolio. Co-reviewers receive credit for their efforts and get the opportunity to forge connections with other people in the field.
- Open peer reviews are accessible to all readers just like the research. This way, readers get to see all the reviews that the papers receive—positive, neutral, or negative. The peer review reports are published alongside the research and offer a glimpse into what experts have to say about controversial or new age science topics.
- Every new version of an article can undergo open peer review. Authors can also respond to reviewer comments and make changes to their articles in keeping with opinions of the reviewers. They can also explain why they might disagree with the reviewer’s suggestions.
At Amnet, we offer technology-driven solutions to manage and optimize the publishing workflow. We have partnered with the Coko Foundation to advance OA publishing. Our collaboration has resulted in a state-of-the-art open source journal and editorial platform. Get in touch with us to know more about our next-generation publishing solutions.