Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Effective Research Publishing: Open Research & Open Access: Peer Review

One Stop Shop for Open Research Practices

Open Peer Review: The Basics

The idea behind Open Peer Review is to bring transparency and accountability to the traditionally closed models of peer review. Open Peer Review can come in many different forms but the basic elements are:

  1. Transparency in the identity of reviewers and/or authors
  2. Publication of the content of the peer reviews (sometimes combined or edited)
  3. Opening up peer review to a wider community of interested readers
  4. Allowing interactions between authors, editors and reviewers to make peer review more collaborative and constructive
  5. Open peer review prior to publication by the use of preprints
  6. Enabling post-publication commenting so that readers can make comments and authors/other readers can respond
  7. Some platforms enable publication prior to peer review

Pros and Cons

There are Pros and Cons with Open Peer Review:

Pros Cons
Conflicts of interest are immediately apparent to authors and readers Reviewers might not be as critical or rigorous as their comments will be visible to everyone
Readers can see how the work was improved via peer review by reading the reviewers' comments and authors' responses Early career researchers may fear retaliation if they give an unfavourable review to a more established/influential researcher
Reviewers are more accountable for their comments Some researchers will decline invitations to review openly as they are not happy for their comments or identities to be made public
Biased or inaccurate reviews are visible to readers and the authors of the research output
Open reviews can be used as training material for the next generation of peer reviewers - essential if high quality peer review is to continue
Direct communication between authors and reviewers can reduce confusion or misunderstandings and lead to more constructive and faster revisions
Reviewers can earn credit and recognition for their contributions to the peer review process. If reviews are available and are issued DOIs they can be added to ORCID profiles and CVs

However there are also Pros and Cons with traditional closed peer review:

Reviewers can be open and frank in their reviews

Reviewers can be rude and negative in their comments on an output as they will not be identified to the authors

Double blind peer review can reduce reviewer bias

Reviewers may be biased

Early career researchers can comment anonymously on the work of more established researchers without fear of recrimination

Reviewers may deliberately delay publication if the work under review may scoop their own

Reviewers may be influenced by the standing of the author in the community

Types of Peer Review