Peer review is a cornerstone of science, but the quality and efficiency depends on a complex, large-scale collaboration process that is sensitive to motivations, incentives and institutional contexts.
A new protocol called PEERE: New Frontiers of Peer Review aims to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability of peer review through a trans-disciplinary, cross-sectorial collaboration. The objective is to analyze peer review in different scientific areas and evaluate the implications of different models of peer review. PEERE is a new action from COST, the longest running European framework supporting transnational cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe. It is also seeking new incentive structures, rules and measures to improve collaboration in all stages of the peer review process.
PEERE consists of three working groups. Working group 1 is focused on theory, analysis and models of peer review. Working group 2, which I am involved with along with representatives from Springer Nature and Wiley, studies the impact of different models of peer review on the quality and efficiency of the process. Working group 3 facilitates research collaboration between PEERE members and manages the implementation of PEERE agenda.
The data sharing protocol will make it possible to run these studies on a large scale rather than using piecemeal journal data; the scale will enable researchers to make general and evidence-based conclusions, which will boost research on the topic of peer review and eventually will help our journal editors to make better decisions when it comes to peer review models.
Elsevier’s editors have nominated 70 journals across various disciplines and with different peer review models to share their peer review data with PEERE. Similar samples have been gathered by Wiley and Springer Nature.
Elsevier collaborates with a wide range of organizations and institutions for the advancement of scientific research. Here is a sample: