IOP Publishing report reveals continued global imbalance in distribution of peer review

27 Aug 2020 rachael harper

A new global peer review study from IOP Publishing has found that the imbalance in the distribution of peer review continues to be felt by Western and more experienced reviewers.

German, US and UK reviewers are more likely to feel overloaded by review requests, with over 40 per cent stating that they receive too many. In fact, nearly 50 per cent of German reviewers indicated this to be the case. This is in contrast with reviewers from China and India, where less than 12 per cent and 10 per cent respectively reported receiving too many requests.

More than 1,200 reviewers from across the globe contributed to the report to provide rich and practical insights that will help improve the efficiency and quality of the peer review process.

Other findings reveal that the primary motivation for reviewers comes from an interest in the paper and that feedback is the most valuable form of recognition, with nearly 60 per cent of respondents saying that cash or benefit-in-kind rewards provide very little motivation to review.

Commenting on the report, Antonia Seymour, Publishing Director at IOP Publishing said: “We provide the best possible publishing experience and our commitment to ensuring high-quality, timely, rigorous and ethical peer review is at the heart of that. The number of papers needing review continues to increase while the number of reviewers has not followed at the same rate. This global trend has led to fatigue among experienced reviewers and those in certain locations who are being asked to review more frequently.”

Key Highlights

“We are constantly looking at how we can overcome these challenges, improve the peer review process and offer more support to peer reviewers. This led us to carry out this survey to truly understand the reviewer experience, what motivates them and their recognition needs. This understanding will be crucial to how our peer review process at IOP Publishing evolves. We are very grateful to all our respondents. They have provided us with a huge amount of useful information which will help us shape our approach and build new initiatives.”

To read the full report, click here

About peer review at IOP Publishing
At IOP Publishing, we provide a high-quality peer review experience, with more than 60 staff across our global offices dedicated to managing the peer review process, allowing reviewers and board members to concentrate on the science. We are committed to providing a fair and impartial review process, and to providing the fastest possible service to authors.

Find out more about our unique approach and how we improve the peer review process for our authors