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Press Release: IOP Publishing [May 14, 2024]

IOP Publishing report reveals peer review capacity not used to its full potential

A new global study from IOP Publishing (IOPP) has found that certain peer review communities continue to feel overburdened by reviewer requests, while others remain underrepresented.

The survey, which generated over 3,000 responses from peer reviewers from across the globe, revealed regional and career-stage disparities:

    30% of reviewers from high-income countries indicated that they receive too many peer review requests, compared with just 10% from low and middle-income countries*

    Just 6% of respondents from China and 7% from India indicated that they receive too many requests, compared with 23% of respondents globally

    28% of senior researchers say they receive too many requests, compared to just 7% of PhD students and 9% of postdocs.

Laura Feetham-Walker, Reviewer Engagement Manager at IOPP, said:

"As research outputs increase globally, the demands on peer reviewers also increase. The pressures can be eased by tapping into the groups that are currently underused, which in turn brings different viewpoints and expertise. It's also important to acknowledge that peer review can be a daunting task for those with little or no experience in the process, which is why we offer free peer review training and certification tailored for the physical sciences. Casting the net wider when looking for potential reviewers and helping to boost peer review confidence are just some of the ways we're working to address the global imbalance.

"Quality peer review is essential to the integrity and validity of science and relies on reviewers who are engaged, motivated and competent at providing constructive feedback. The insights we gain from this survey helps us to ensure we can continue to evolve the support we provide to the global reviewer community to help with their important work."

Other findings from the survey show that just over half of reviewers (52%) prefer to review double-anonymous manuscripts where the identity of both authors and reviewers are concealed. IOPP introduced this approach in 2021 to tackle the significant gender, racial and geographical under-representation in the scholarly publishing process. The predominant peer review approach in the physical sciences hitherto has been single-anonymous.

IOP Publishing Report Findings
IOP Publishing Report Findings

IOPP's ‘State of peer review 2024' report provides rich and practical insights that will help improve the efficiency and quality of the peer review process. 

Read the Report

*As defined by the World Bank

IOP Publishing report shows peer reviewers want feedback on their reviews

A new global study from IOP Publishing (IOPP) reveals that receiving reviewer feedback is the most important reward for reviewing manuscripts.

The survey, which generated responses from over 3,000 peer reviewers across the globe found that receiving an update on the final decision of the paper ranked first on a scale of one to five, followed by comments on the quality of the review undertaken and gaining access to other reviewers' comments.

interest in receiving reviewer feedback
interest in receiving reviewer feedback

Nearly 65% of respondents indicated that cash or in-kind benefits are the least important motivators for reviewing.

In 2023, IOPP became the first major publisher to offer reviewer feedback direct from the IOPP editorial team. When a reviewer opts-in for feedback on their report, IOPP shares a numerical evaluation with constructive information about the structure and usefulness of their peer review report. Over 60% of reviewers have opted-in to receiving feedback since the programme was launched.

IOPP's ‘State of Peer Review 2024' study tracks the changes made since 2020 when the previous survey was carried out. When comparing the survey responses from 2020 with 2024, the most noticeable change was that 60% more reviewers chose "Better and more accessible peer review training" as their most preferred initiative, with all other responses remaining broadly similar.

Following the 2020 survey, IOPP sought to address the gap in peer review training and lack of feedback by launching the Peer Review Excellence programme, the only free training programme dedicated to the physical sciences. Since 2021 over 6,000 people have signed up to the course and over 13,000 have received IOP trusted reviewer status.

Laura Feetham-Walker, Reviewer Engagement Manager at IOPP says: "The work peer reviewers do is crucial to the advancement of science. Our 'State of peer review 2024' survey gives us the opportunity to listen to those reviewers and learn how we can make their experience of reviewing for us better. Addressing reviewers' feedback not only helps us to improve transparency within the peer review system but also aides the development of researchers' peer review skills."

Summary: A new global study from IOP Publishing (IOPP) has found that certain peer review communities continue to feel overburdened by reviewer requests, while others remain underrepresented.
Publication Year:2024
Type of Material:Press Release
Date Issued:May 14, 2024
Publisher:IOP Publishing
Company: IOP Publishing

DocumentID: 30085 views: 1083 Created: 2024-05-13 20:08:12 Last Modified: 2024-07-19 03:28:39.