When a researcher gets their work published, months of hard work and dedication finally pay off. The rewards of being published in a reputable journal are immediately obvious, but what about the hard work that goes on behind the scenes?
Peer review remains the gold standard for the evaluation of new research and key to the process of refining an article before publication. It is a widely debated issue, and not without its flaws, but new practises are emerging, and adaptations have been made to the process to provide the best possible service.
For example, BMC series medical journals operate an open peer review policy which enables authors and the reading public to see the names of the reviewers who have provided a report. This level of openness allows accountability and fairness in an area where new research may impact how medicine is practised.
It is critical that we reduce the competing interests that may occur during review, but also that credit is given where it is due. Authors benefit by being aware of who has reviewed their work and can appreciate what perspective their peers bring. For the reviewers, providing a report is not without rewards, as it enables them to keep up with the latest developments in their field and may influence their own work in the future.
The idea of peer review as a reciprocal process is, however, one of the most important benefits and motivating factors. Each individual conducts a review with the hope that their own work will be treated by others in their field with the same careful assessment. The reports they produce are crucial in enabling our Editors to make informed decisions on the scientific soundness, validity, and novelty of the research submitted to our journals. The whole process is essential in maintaining standards, not only for our journals but for scientific research as a whole.
No matter what form it takes, peer review relies on the contribution of expert reviewers and it’s important to us here at BioMed Central that our contributors know that their hard work hasn’t gone unappreciated.
That’s why we’ve published reviewer acknowledgements for the second year running, in order to recognise and thank those individuals who contributed to the peer review process of our journals last year.
So from everyone here at BioMed Central, thank you!