Open peer review is based around the idea of transparency and disclosure of the identities of those reviewing each particular work, as opposed to the anonymous commenting , known as anonymous/blind peer review.
The Open Peer Review Protocol describes key features of this system:
- Authors invite expert peers to formally evaluate their work posted in any online archive (libraries, repositories, preprint servers, etc).
- Reviewers who accept submit a detailed qualitative and quantitative assessment of the work.
- The reviewer’s name and any conflict of interest are publicly disclosed.
- Reviews are published with a creative commons license (or similar) and become publicly available along with the original work.
- Reviews are subject to commentary and evaluation by the entire community.
- Author-guided open peer review can be implemented at any stage of an article’s lifetime: (a)before journal submission, (b) during journal peer review (in agreement with the journal’s editor), and (c) after journal publication.
Why Open Peer Review can be interesting?
- Previous comments were often managed by journal editors, who could therefore control access to each work and subsequent review
- Anonymity meant people could falsify comments; both friends/colleagues of the author to leave positive commentary, or critics leaving harsher criticisms hiding behind the guise of anonymity
- The accountability of adding a reviewer profile offers reviewers incentives to provide good quality and helpful reviews, as well as get into contact direclty to further works.
- Lower costs (no publisher/editor monopoly)
- Aims to keep taking scholarly advancement further
- Encourages collaboration, and more reviewing as opposed to academic competition.
The Libre project is one which has adopted free Open Peer Review as a platform for a community of volunteer scholars to share and develop its work, and its popularity is growing.
To find out more about Open Peer Review, read this article !