The process of peer review is a central element of the scientific process; however, there is a lack of hard evidence as to how effective it is. More research is needed on all aspects of peer review in order to identify problem areas and make the necessary improvements.
Recently, we signed up to the New Frontiers of Peer Review (PEERE), an EU-funded programme that aims to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability of peer review through a trans-disciplinary collaboration.
The PEERE project was set up to address these aims with four principal objectives:
- to analyse peer review in different scientific areas by integrating quantitative and qualitative research, and incorporating recent experimental and computational findings;
- to evaluate implications of different models of peer review and to explore new incentive structures, rules and measures to improve collaboration in all stages of the peer review process;
- to involve science stakeholders in data sharing and testing initiatives;
- to define collaboratively a joint research agenda that points to an evidence-based peer review reform.
A better peer review system will improve the self-regulation processes of science to benefit all science stakeholders. It can also help to improve the public’s trust in, and engagement with, science. As such, this project is entirely aligned with the mission of the Royal Society and our commitment to promoting excellence in research and research culture.
We are supporting the programme by sharing 13 years’ worth of historic peer review data that will be anonymised by PEERE. Other participating publishers include Springer-Nature, Elsevier and Wiley.
If you would like to know more about our involvement with the PEERE programme, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
Our journal, Philosophical Transactions, was the world’s first scientific journal. It established the fundamental principles of scientific priority and peer review, used throughout scientific publishing ever since. Today, all our journals offer high quality, constructive peer review, whilst some also offer open peer review.