IOPP moves OA journals to transparent peer review

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IOP Publishing (IOPP) is moving all its open access (OA) journals to transparent peer review, making it the first physics publisher to adopt the approach portfolio-wide. 

Transparent peer review involves publication of the complete peer review process, from initial review to final decision. This means that alongside the published article, readers can see a full peer review history, including reviewer reports, editor decision letters and the authors’ responses. Making this process visible to the community increases accountability and allows reviewers to be recognised more for their hard work.  

Marc Gillett, head of publishing operations at IOPP, said: 'With this exciting new development we will bring greater transparency to research published in IOP Publishing journals and increase the quality of the peer review process while aiding teaching of best practice in peer review.' 

The launch follows a one-year trial  in which authors and reviewers were given the choice to opt in or out of displaying their reviewer reports alongside the published article in three IOPP journals. Since then, IOPP has extended this choice to more than 50 per cent of all IOPP’s OA journals. About half of all authors publishing open access with IOPP choose to disclose reviewer reports, showing a positive stance toward this relatively new way of disclosing scholarly information. 

Transparent peer review complements double anonymous peer review, where the identity of authors and reviewers is concealed, which IOPP also offers throughout its entire portfolio. The difference is that double anonymous peer review is applied before publication, and transparent review is delivered post-publication. Together these two processes complement each other, allowing for maximum objectivity during the review process, and maximum transparency after publication. 

To ensure a smooth implementation that will enable transparent peer review at scale, IOPP has partnered with Publons to introduce a new solution based on ScholarOne technology. The transparent peer review option will be made available for authors and reviewers publishing in any of IOPP’s OA journals from 1 February 2022. 

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