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OSFair2017 Workshop | Fear and loathing in Open Peer Review


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Jon Tennant talks about barriers to Open Peer Review | OSFair2017 Workshop

Workshop title: Peer review at the crossroads

Workshop overview:
The workshop builds on the results of the OpenUp landscape scan and the OpenAIRE report on open peer review. The workshop has multiple purposes including (1) assessing existing and evolving methods and functions of alternative peer review mechanisms, (2) breaking down peer review into the basic processes to identify the benefits and challenges, and (3) identifying questions and issues that need further investigation.

Group discussions will also touch upon issues such as the sustainability, long-term availability of alternative review tools, and their uptake by researchers, and the incorporation of these methods into institutional, national, funders’ and publishers’ policies.

OpenUP and OpenAIRE are dedicated to engage with different (disciplinary, inter-disciplinary) research communities from the social sciences, life sciences, energy, arts and humanities to identify the requirements from the emerging trends as posed by Open Science and e-infrastructural interconnected environments. Both projects aim at developing a sustainable framework that is relevant for and responsive to the Open Science needs.


Published in: Science
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OSFair2017 Workshop | Fear and loathing in Open Peer Review

  2. 2. No one really knows what it is • Open identities • Open reports • Open participation • Open interaction • Open pre-review manuscripts • Open final-version commenting • Open platforms 122 COMPETING DEFINITIONS
  3. 3. Peer review changed your relationship status to “It’s complicated.”
  4. 4. The debate 1. How can referees receive credit or recognition for their work, and what form should this take. 2. Should referee reports be published alongside manuscripts. 3. Should referees remain anonymous or have their identities disclosed. 4. Should peer review occur prior or subsequent to the publication process (i.e., publish then filter).
  5. 5. Fear governs all • Refusal to perform peer review. • Appearing confrontational in public. • Abuse of power dynamics and intimidation. • Backlash from senior researchers. • Empowerment of bad actors. • Marginalisation of those with less power. • Researchers won’t be honest or critical.
  6. 6. Solutions I • Built-in accountability processes. • Transparency by default to level the playing field. • Assholes gonna asshole, so let’s find ways to deal with that (e.g., COPE). • Increase quality through accountability and identification. • Attach CC BY license and DOIs to peer reviews – make them citable. • Make peer reviews valued and part of permanent academic records.
  7. 7. Solutions II • Make sure arguments and policies are evidence- based. • No, seriously. No evidence, no case.That includes your anecdata.Take it elsewhere. • Because we’re not talking about individuals here – we’re talking about systems comprising millions of individuals. • So you have to remain flexible. No one-size fits all. • Account for social and cultural norms and differences.
  8. 8.