What Does Quality Mean to IOP Publishing Users?
In a short survey, we asked our community of authors and reviewers what quality in peer review meant to them.
Here is a selection of responses:
Peer review as a way to improve submitted work
Some researchers focused on the way peer review reports can be used to improve papers by pointing out weaknesses and strengths.
“A review carefully performed by an expert whose aim is the detection of errors in conception and execution of a scientific project, that are not biased by spurious interests and that gives the opportunity to improve the work submitted.”
“Rigorous and honest evaluation”
“The referee tells me what is the weakness and strength of my paper and how to improve the paper, i.e., remove the weakness.”
“A fair chance to help me improve the work in a different perspective.”
Peer review furthering science
Other users focused on the wider implications of quality in peer review: peer review as a way to further science
“From the publishing perspective, quality means that the work is valuable, original, and should be shared with a broader scientific community. Well-written, reproducible studies demonstrate quality. From the reviewer side, quality means that reviewers actually spend time fully reading and digesting an article. Providing constructive feedback to enhance or improve an article is a reviewers duty. Just skimming an article and passing it along as “publish” does not promote quality at the publishing scale. Having a critical, yet supportive eye for reviewing is necessary.”
“Insightful, constructive evaluation of submitted articles – being used as a tool to enable the authors to improve the work submitted, rather than just a binary gate-keeping exercise.”
“For me it means the reviewer’s comments are helpful to the author, no matter the result is acceptance or rejection; the whole peer review process should be well organised and in a timely manner too.”
“Maximising reproducibility and treating every paper on the merit of its rigour and impact.”
Improving Quality at IOP Publishing
David Evans, Product Manager for Peer Review at IOP Publishing said: “Ongoing surveys show 66 per cent of authors believe the quality of peer review we provide to be better or much better than other publishers. While that is encouraging, we know we can only continue to provide a quality service by listening to the needs of our authors, reviewers, editors and researchers.”