When we announced that we would be encouraging Open Peer Review in PeerJ, we must confess that we were unsure how the reception would go. We are pleased to say that the positive response exceeded our best expectations!
To summarize our system – we encourage our peer reviewers to provide their name as part of their review; and we also give our authors the option to publish the full peer review history of their article alongside the published version.
So far, approximately half of our peer reviewers are providing their name and approximately half of our launch day articles chose to reproduce their peer review history alongside the article. Examples can be seen here, here and here.
The response from both twitter and the blogosphere has been amazing. A couple of bloggers in particular (Jalees Rehman and Mike Taylor) have written up the benefits in detail, and so we thought we would use this post to highlight some of the reaction which is emerging through Twitter.
It certainly is fascinating, but of course there is a real benefit to making this material publicly available. Providing the reviewer comments opens up the whole process to the reader, and allows them to see the back and forth between author, editor and reviewers – it is a fascinating insight into some of the debate that might not have made it into the final paper, as noted by @GholsonLyon and @elikint:
Others have made the point that they can now use this history as a teaching tool when showing students and early researchers how the peer review process actually works.
And it’s definitely proving popular with our readers. We are already seeing that for those articles which provide their peer review history, approximately 15% (some > 20%) of the views on the paper are to the peer review page – a significant proportion.
Of course, we weren’t the first to do this. @voooos mentioned the EGU journals
and some other publishers who have also been doing this include EMBO, the BMJ and BMC. We are hopeful that as more and more journals allow this, and as more and more authors and reviewers experience it, it will become a standard feature of all journals. Ultimately, as pointed out by @KaisaKanerva the reason for doing this is to improve the process of review and publication and to provide fresh new insights for readers!