Peer Review Week: supporting quality peer review

September 20th, 2019

Peer reviewers are an integral part of scholarly publishing. Learn more about how we seek to support the peer review process and get better at acknowledging our reviewers.
Soft focus photo of man writing with laptop, with Peer Review Week logo appearing over top

This year’s theme for Peer Review Week is ‘Quality in Peer Review’

Peer review is at the heart of scholarly publishing, with our reviewers and editors playing a crucial role in maintaining the scientific quality of the research we publish. Each year the community joins together to celebrate Peer Review Week (external link), which this year had a theme of ‘Quality in Peer Review’.

Our peer reviewers are an integral part of scholarly publishing. It is with their feedback and critique that researchers can improve their publications and ensure their research methods are rigorous and of the highest quality. It is because of the significant investment of time and expertise from our reviewers that we can ensure the integrity of our publications and that we also maintain a high standard of publication ethics.

Peer Review Week brings together individuals, institutions and organisations involved in scholarly communications through virtual and in-person events, webinars, interviews and social media activities to promote the importance of peer review. The event also highlights the latest innovations and best practice in peer review. We are pleased to support this theme in the following ways, and to recognise and reward our reviewers who make such a significant contribution.

Man standing a lectern against burgundy wall with screen behind him

CSIRO Publishing Director Andrew Stammer hosted the inaugural Australian Publishers Association Peer Review Seminar

The first ever Australian Publisher’s Association Peer Review Seminar

To ensure that we’re at the forefront of the conversation about how to foster quality peer review, we supported the inaugural Australian Publisher’s Association Peer Review Seminar (external link), which was held last week.

CSIRO Publishing Director Andrew Stammer chaired the seminar, which featured conversations on the latest global trends and local matters in academic peer review. Experts from across the research ecosystem discussed peer review’s significance, to academia and the wider public, plus latest innovations being adopted.

“The Peer Review Seminar was a fantastic opportunity for collaboration between institutions, publishers, Publons and many others, to discuss quality peer review, ethics, diversity, approaches and of course how we can get better at acknowledging our reviewers,” said Mr Stammer. “We are proud to be able to contribute to such an important event.”

Reviewer recognition

Earlier this year, we partnered with Publons. To date, over 2500 reviewers have logged 4600 reviews for our journals, which means they can record and display their contributions.

“We’re glad that we can support them by making this process much easier, and we encourage more of our reviewers to access the benefits of this platform,” said Journal Publisher Alice Hall, who led the CSIRO Publishing-Publons partnership. “Ultimately our peer reviewers are the backbone of our journals – without them we would not be able to publish the impactful research we do.”

We provide our reviewers with recognition in a number of ways, which includes publishing annual reviewer index lists for each journal, showcasing the reviewers that have contributed in the previous year. They are available for download in the left menu of each journal’s home page and will continue to be updated every year.

To mark Peer Review Week, Publons held the Global Peer Review Awards (external link) to celebrate the commitment and contributions of reviewers. The awards celebrated the ‘Sentinels of Science’ and research: reviewers who have gone above and beyond in determining what quality, rigor and innovation look like in their field. All researchers with a Publons profile were automatically eligible and the top ten reviewers, as rated by handling editors, were announced on the Publons website (external link) this week.

We look forward to continuing to work with our community to explore innovations in peer review, and how we can further recognise and reward our reviewers.

To everyone who has reviewed for a journal published by CSIRO Publishing to date – thank you for your invaluable contribution!

Find out more about what CSIRO Publishing can offer our reviewers on our website.