Peer review is a pillar of scientific communication, the mechanism we rely on to ensure that published research is thoroughly vetted and scientifically valid. For that reason, we tend to think of peer review as a monolith–iconic, stable, and consistent. In fact, journals use many different forms and applications of peer review, often in parallel.
Published Peer Review History
Published Peer Review History collects the correspondence exchanged during the peer review process—including decision letters from each revision, complete with both editorial feedback and peer reviews, as well as the authors’ responses to reviewers—and makes it available alongside a published research article.
Benefits of published peer review history
Peer reviews and author responses to reviewers are research outputs in their own right with intrinsic value to readers—even after formal article publication.
Acknowledge the value of scientific feedback and discussion by making them a permanent part of the scientific record.
Enrich the scientific literature with a wider range of scientific perspectives and provide examples for students to reference.
Contextualize the work and explore its implications by surfacing the specific concerns addressed during peer review.
Increase trust by demonstrating the validity and rigor of the peer review process that the work has undergone.
Make reviewers more accountable for their comments and discourage bias with the knowledge that their peer review may become public.
Who wants transparent peer review?
Lots of people, it turns out.
Since introducing Published Peer Review History in May 2019…
The authors of
O V E R
manuscripts have chosen to publish peer review history
O V E R
peer reviewers have chosen to sign comments on more than 45k manuscripts
Published Peer Reviews have received
O V E R
Read about Open Peer Review
Three years ago PLOS implemented our version of open peer review, which we named with our typical scrupulous precision and total disregard for word count: Published Peer Review History.
Starting today, ALL PLOS journals will offer authors the option to publish their peer review history alongside their accepted manuscript! We’ve been excited to make this announcement, and make major strides towards a more open publication process, since last fall when we signed ASAPbio’s open letter committing to transparent peer review options.
All PLOS journals use anonymous peer review by default, but offer authors and reviewers options to make the peer review process more transparent.
Reviewers choose to sign their review and can take credit for the comments.
Authors can reveal the expert assessment that has shaped their final work by publishing the editor’s decision letter and reviewer feedback along with their response.
Author and reviewer choices result in four possible degrees of openness. Together, they give an entire community of readers access to more expert perspectives, and insight into the assessment of science.