IOP Publishing to expand double-blind peer review

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IOP Publishing (IOP) has announced the expansion of its double-blind peer review programme, following a successful pilot on two of its journals.

The organisation is experimenting with different peer review models as part of its commitment to providing high-quality peer review and meeting the future needs of the research communities we serve.

In double-blind peer review, neither reviewer nor author knows the other’s identity. In contrast, under conventional single-blind peer review the reviewer knows the author’s identity, but the author does not know who reviewed their paper.

The double-blind pilot, which ran from January to December 2017 on the journals Materials Research Express (MRX) and Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express (BPEX), saw an author uptake of the double-blind review option of around 20 per cent on each journal, and positive feedback from both authors and reviewers.

The option will now be a permanent feature on MRX and BPEX, and will also be offered to authors on a forthcoming new addition to our ‘Express’ series of journals.

Simon Harris, managing editor at IOP, said: "We have seen significant uptake from authors of the double-blind option, and feedback from both reviewers and authors has been very positive, with an average satisfaction score from authors of 9.5 out of 10. Notably, most authors who took up the double-blind option saw it as fairer than single-blind.

'The results prove there is a demand to be met for double-blind peer review in these research communities.  We hope that by expanding it to other journals in our portfolio, we can continue to improve how we serve the scientific community.'

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