Author-guided Open Peer Review


What is author-guided Open Peer Review?

It is time to challenge the idea that scientific peer review can only be arranged and handled by journal editors. We propose a research assessment process complementary to journal-handled peer review where authors themselves can invite experts to openly evaluate their work.

The Open Peer Review Protocol and our recent article on academic self-publishing describe in detail the requirements for implementing author-guided open peer review. The key features are:

  • 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.

Read the Open Peer Review Protocol for more detailed implementation instructions.


Why is it important?

The current blind peer review model has repeatedly been criticized as slow, opaque and prone to bias or even fraud. In addition, the fact that journals monopolize research evaluation creates an environment of fierce academic competition, opposed to open collaboration for the benefit of science and society. Author-guided open peer review:

  • Offers reviewers incentives to provide good quality and helpful reviews.
  • Helps journal editors make better-informed decisions on manuscripts that merit publication and reduce risk-taking.
  • Creates an alternative evaluation system bypassing journal publication costs, which is especially important for authors with limited resources (see developing countries).
  • Allows the dynamic evaluation of scientific ideas and results, in accordance with the concept of critical rationalism.
  • Encourages collaboration between authors and reviewers.

Read more about how author-guided open peer review is implemented in LIBRE.