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Elsevier tests new peer-review approach

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Elsevier is piloting a new peer-review programme for its Chemical Physics Letters journal. With PeerChoice reviewers can choose which articles they would like to review. By choosing articles matching their expertise and interest, efficiency and effectiveness of the peer review process should be increased, believes the publisher. The PeerChoice pilot will initially run for three months, starting in June.

Unlike the traditional approach of an editor choosing who should review which articles, the PeerChoice software enables reviewers to select articles that match their academic competencies and current interests, while committing to a timely review. Current checks and balances in the peer review process remain in place to ensure the usual high quality of the process.

The 2009 Peer Review Survey, which Elsevier conducted with Sense About Science, showed that a significant number of reviewers are sometimes hesitant to review an article because of a lack of expertise in that particular field. It also showed that researchers wanted to improve peer review by improving article relevancy and speeding up turnaround time.