Peer review has been in the minds of many editors lately and was the subject of a lively debate at our recent London forum. Publishing is changing rapidly and the “traditional” ways of blinded pre publication review are now just one type of peer review, which includes open peer review as well as peer review post publication. One of the innovations in peer review is aimed at enabling reviewers to get credit for peer review – two such organisations trying this are Publons and Academic Karma. Among post publication peer review, one of the most hotly debated topics is whether it should be signed or unsigned and what degree of moderation is needed. Sites such as PubPeer are generally unsigned, whereas PubMed Commons reviews are signed and moderated.
Both these latter sites are biomedical and its interesting to contrast the practice here with for example practices in the creative disciplines such as music, where fully open peer review may be essential for constructive review to occur.
Whatever the model of peer review, it is essential that reviewers do abide by the guideline of the journal or other site they are reviewing for. General COPE guidelines on peer review are here.
If you have any items for COPE Digest, would like to contribute items or have other suggestions, as always, please get in touch (contact us here), and please do forward COPE Digest to your colleagues.