March 2, 2021

Report: “Peer Review: Further Results From a Trial at eLife”

From eLife:

New approach to peer review results in slightly longer decision times and more appeals against decisions, but several other features of the review process, such as the ease of finding reviewers, remain unchanged.

Last year eLife introduced a peer-review trial in which authors could opt in to a process in which they had greater control over the ultimate decision to publish. In brief, once an editor had invited a paper for peer review, eLife was then committed to publishing the work, along with the peer review assessments, unless the authors decided to withdraw (see Peer review: eLife trials a new approach for further details). The authors of 313 submissions between June 26 and August 8, 2018 elected to participate.

In January, we described some initial results (see Peer review: First results from a trial at eLife). Of the 313 submissions, 70 (22.4%) were encouraged for in-depth peer review. We noted that this “encouragement rate” was higher for late-career researchers compared to their early- and mid-career colleagues. We also observed that encouragement rates were similar for male and female last authors in the trial process.

We will now summarise some re-analysis of the initial decision step, and the results of the peer-review process itself for the 70 trial papers sent for in-depth review and for 162 papers that went through the regular review process during the same period. We are planning to present the final outcomes of the trial at a later date.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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