This blog was originally posted on The Source.
Robert Faff, University of Queensland, summed up earlier this week why peer review is so important on the Publons blog when he said: “For viability, sustainability and growth in quality scientific outcomes, the system needs many dedicated reviewers.”
For us here at Springer and BioMed Central, we couldn’t agree more with how important reviewers are and their involvement in the peer review process. Though we put a lot of work into peer review every week, a dedicated week such as “Peer Review Week” is especially ideal for expressing what this work involves.
In November 2014, Springer organized an internal virtual team spanning different continents dedicated to building reviewer resources, recognition and rewards (what I call the three Rs of reviewing). We formally came together in January 2015 with a massive e-campaign to over 400,000 Springer, SpringerOpen and BioMed Central reviewers thanking them for their work in 2014. We received feedback on what reviewers would like to see in terms the three Rs.
We’ve made progress collating the findings which will be communicated in the coming months (so watch this space!), but for now, we’ll focus on what we can immediately offer those participating in peer review week, and thereafter…
First up, if you’re new to the very idea of peer review, a couple of resources:
- Springer Author Academy’s Peer Review Free Online Learning Course
- BioMed Central’s Jigisha Patel’s BMC Blog Collection on how to peer review, including a Quiz: Can you navigate tricky peer review scenarios?
And for those wishing to dive deeper:
- Editors-in-Chief of the new BioMed Central journal Research Integrity and Peer Review discuss why the scholarly world needs this journal and what they are aiming to achieve
- Sarah Theissen looks at one way in which peer review inefficiencies can be addressed by offering a ‘transfer service‘ to facilitate the appropriate transfer of manuscripts including their reviewer reports between journals where appropriate.
- BioMed Central editors investigated the quality of reviewer reports under open and closed peer review. Check out their findings here.
- And finally, hear the personal opinion of a biologist, Buzz Baum and clinician Kathryn Maitland on what’s new in peer review?
We hope you find these resources and posts helpful, and we want to give a heartfelt thank you to all reviewers, too.