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Peer Review Week 2020

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

This week is Peer Review Week, an annual global event celebrating the role of peer review in scholarly communication and this year’s theme is trust.

There are many layers of trust in the journal peer review system.  Can an author trust a journal to choose the right reviewer? Can a reviewer trust the author’s research processes, research integrity and accuracy? Can we as members of society trust the peer review process to enable the best research to rise to the top and be published and rewarded? These questions have become especially pertinent with the huge amount of non-peer reviewed research that has, by necessity, been published first as preprints since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Transparency, accessibility and discoverability of the processes behind peer review are part of how we can maintain trust in the journal peer review system.  Another aspect is to ensure that everyone who is part of the process has the skills, resources and training to conduct and respond to peer review.

In the Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers, the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) asserts that “peer review in all its forms plays an important role in ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record. The process depends to a large extent on trust, and requires that everyone involved behaves responsibly and ethically.”

This week you can take these opportunities to reflect on peer review:

1.Discover the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication. This video gives the history of journal peer review from 1665 to now.

2. Shine a light on the emotive side of peer review – how researchers deal with rejection that is an inevitable part of peer review.

All researchers experience rejection of their manuscript at some time. Listen to how some of QUT’s researchers, ranging from professor to higher degree research student have managed and coped with those feelings of rejection.

Publishing tips: Dealing with rejection and peer review.

3.  Reflect on the showcase of open access, peer reviewed journals published at QUT:

  • The International Journal Crime, Justine & Social Democracy (IJCJSD) is QUT’s flagship open access law journal. Under the leadership of editor’s Professor Kerry Carrington and Professor John Scott, IJCJSD has just entered a partnership with Publons to enhance recognition of their reviewers
  • International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, a double blind peer-reviewed journal, brings together emergent and ground breaking research in the field of Indigenous studies within the global community offering scope for critical international engagement and debate.
  • Student Success publishes articles for researchers, tertiary and university teachers and educators and professional staff who are advancing student learning, success and retention. The latest issues is focusing on enabling excellence through equity.
  • Law, Technology and Humans publishes articles on the possible disruption and changes for humans and their planet from emergent technologies are welcome as well as quality reflection on existing and past interactions between law and technology.
  • M/C Journal: a fully blind, peer-reviewed journal that is a place of public intellectualism analysing and critiquing the meeting of media and culture

4. Share best practices of how the peer review process works. These Journal Peer Review training resources cover different aspects of how to conduct and respond to peer review including:

    • Forms of peer review
    • Conducting peer review
    • Responding to peer review
    • Emerging trends in peer review

5. Read some interesting case studies from COPE that provide insights into peer review processes and why it helps build trust in research





Meadows, A. (2020). In peer review we trust.  The Scholarly Kitchen. Retrieved from

Wiffen P. (2014). In peer review we trust—or do we? European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy: Science and Practice 21:133.


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