Bringing transparent peer review to physical sciences and beyond


Publons and ScholarOne, both part of the Web of Science Group (a Clarivate Analytics company), have entered into a new partnership with IOP Publishing to introduce the industry’s first cross-publisher, scalable transparent peer review workflows across some of their leading journals in the physical sciences and beyond.

Transparent peer review shows the complete peer review process from initial review to final decision, and has gained popularity with authors, reviewers and editors alike in recent years.

In the first instance, IOP Publishing’s transparent peer review service will be rolled out across JPhys Materials, Journal of Neural Engineering and Environmental Research Letters before the end of the year.

The new workflows ensure that, alongside the published article, readers can access a comprehensive peer review history, including reviewer reports, editor decision letters and authors’ responses. Each of these elements is assigned its own digital object identifier (DOI), which helps readers easily reference and cite the peer review content. Transparency may increase the quality of the peer review process, and can also aid teaching of best practice in peer review.

The transparent peer review workflow complies with best-practice data privacy regulation, ensuring the individual preferences of authors, peer reviewers and journals are met.

Andrew Preston, Managing Director, Publons, said: ”Our Global State of Peer Review report found that younger researchers in particular value increased transparency, but the actual process of transparent peer review is notoriously difficult for journals to implement. The existing workflows are often complex and entwined in every aspect of the publishing process. That’s why we’ve introduced a new Publons solution, based on ScholarOne technology, which ensures that any publisher can implement transparent peer review at scale.

IOP Publishing is the first society publisher to adopt this solution, and we’re very pleased to be partnering with them to deliver it.”

Marc Gillett, Head of Publishing Operations, IOP Publishing, said: “With this pilot, we want to test the demand for transparent peer review in our communities by giving authors and reviewers the choice to display the review history of the article. It is part of our commitment to support open science and complements our current open data trial, which is encouraging and supporting authors to make their data available to readers, reviewers and editors.

“We are delighted to have partnered with the Web of Science Group to deliver a sophisticated transparent peer review workflow, and especially Publons who have done so much to increase recognition for reviewers.”

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