[OK-AT Open Science] Young Researchers: Survey about Peer Review

Vignoli Michela Michela.Vignoli at ait.ac.at
Mon Aug 27 14:47:02 UTC 2018

LG! Michela

I'm asking for your help in completing and distributing a survey<https://tinyurl.com/ECRs-in-peer-review> asking about the experiences of ECRs in reviewing manuscripts for journals, particularly whether they have "ghostwritten" peer review reports, and generally keeping up with our #ECRPeerReview effort<http://futureofresearch.org/ecrpeerreview/>!

  *   Survey: https://tinyurl.com/ECRs-in-peer-review
  *   Blogpost explaining survey: http://futureofresearch.net/2018/08/23/please-fill-out-and-share-the-early-career-researcher-peer-review-survey-to-tell-us-about-your-peer-review-experiences/
  *   #ECRPeerReview Resource Page: http://futureofresearch.org/ecrpeerreview/

More info:

The problem we are looking to solve is the phenomenon of "ghostwriting" of peer review reports for journals - e.g. a grad student/postdoc reviewing a manuscript, preparing a report, sending that to the invited reviewer (i.e. their supervisor) and...hearing nothing more. All we're asking is that editorial staff acknowledge who was actually involved in preparing the review.

The actionable is reasonably small: essentially we are asking journals to clarify their co-reviewer policies, and add a textbox to submit names. But this touches all sorts of areas, to do with getting credit (if desired) for peer review; training; expanding the reviewer pool; educating everyone on the opportunities for and benefits of ECR participation in peer review; etc.

We're also using it as a case study for our upcoming (and born at OpenCon!) Who's on Board? project - this is the kind of problem that only gets identified (and dealt with) when you have ECRs in "the room where it happens". (This project came up at the ASAPbio meeting in Feb, when Mark Patterson from eLife presented survey data showing ECRs reporting low involvement from PIs in their peer reviews, and senior people proclaiming "that doesn't happen" while all the ECRs in the room had all ghostwritten reviews.)

We need help getting data - particularly beyond the life sciences, and beyond the U.S., and that's where the survey<https://tinyurl.com/ECRs-in-peer-review> comes in!

The page is here:


It currently includes just the survey, but we also plan to add:

  *   co reviewer policies from journals as part of the collaborative TRANSPOSE project<https://trianglesci.org/2018/07/05/transpose-transparency-in-scholarly-publishing-for-open-scholarship-evolution/>;
  *   resources on training opportunities such as PREreview<https://www.authorea.com/inst/14743-prereview>;
  *   calls for ECRs to participate in review at journals;
  *   literature on the role of ECRs in peer review;
  *   suggested language and recommendations for journals to implement.
I've included sample text below. Many thanks for your help!


***Sample Text***

Would you be willing to participate in and then share the following 15 minute survey about peer review? It focuses on the role that early career researchers (graduate students, postdocs, and other trainees) play in peer review. The anonymous survey can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/ECRs-in-peer-review

The goal of the survey is to collect the research community's opinions about, and experiences with, the peer review process. More detailed information can be found by clicking on the survey link. Results from the survey will be published and used to make recommendations to the editorial boards of academic journals.

***End Sample Text***

Gary McDowell, PhD
Executive Director

Future of Research (FoR)


Cell: 617-233-6008

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