Report from the Peer Review Workgroup

  • Bev Acreman Commercial Director, F1000
  • Peter Berkery Executive Director, American Association of University Presses
  • Caroline Black Editorial Director, BioMed Central (SpringerNature)
  • Chis Bourg Director, MIT Libraries
  • Becky Brasington Clark Director of Publishing, Library of Congress
  • Angela Cochran Director of Journals, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Kevin Davies Vice President for Business Development, American Chemical Society, and Publisher, C&EN
  • Rachel Dresbeck President, and Director of Research Development & Communications, Oregon Health & Science University, National Organization of Research Development Professionals
  • Catriona MacCallum Acting Advocacy Director, PLOS
  • Paul Peters CEO, Hindawi Publishing
  • Bobby Schnabel CEO, Association of Computing Machinery
  • Francisco Valdés Ugalde Director General, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Mexico


The OSI2016 Peer Review workgroup focused on peer review in the context of open scholar­ship. The group agreed that greater openness and transparency would improve accounta­bility, minimize bias, and encourage collaboration, but did not underestimate the challenges of openness, nor the variation in readiness across disciplines and publishing mod­els. The group recommended facilitation of peer review outside the traditional publication process—for example, in the context of preprint servers and after publication—with incen­tives for broad participation. These incentives need to include a cultural shift in recognition of peer review as a valid activity contributing to career progression.

OSI2016 Workgroup Question

Managing the peer review process is one of the major attractions and benefits of the current publisher-driven publishing environment. Would it be possible to maintain peer review in different system — perhaps one where peer review happens at the institutional level, or in an online-review environment? How? What is really needed from peer review, what are the reform options (and what do we already know about the options that have been tried)?