Over two thirds of researchers who've never peer reviewed would like to, new research reveals
Published today is Peer review: a global view, bringing together primary research on researchers' motivations behind publishing in peer reviewed journals and in undertaking peer review, and their attitudes and opinions towards peer review training and support.
The research reveals over two thirds of authors who have never peer reviewed a paper would like to (72% in the Humanities and Social Sciences and 69% in Science, Technology and Medicine), yet 60% of journal editors said they had difficulty in finding reviewers.
Including findings from an online survey as well as focus groups held in China, South Africa and the UK, this supplement forms part of one of the largest research studies into peer review in recent years. It brings together views from those working in the sciences, social sciences, medicine and humanities, gathering responses from over 6,300 researchers globally.
Playing their part as a member of the academic community was rated as the most important motivation for reviewing in both the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) and Science, Technology and Medicine (STM), with just under half of respondents having reviewed between 10 - 50 papers. A significant portion in both STM (16%) and HSS (10%) had reviewed more than 100 papers through the course of their career. And what incentivizes people to review? Receiving free access to the journal was the option most likely to encourage people to accept that invitation.
On support, just 1 in 10 of today's peer reviewers had been to a workshop or formal training on peer review. Yet over half would like to (51% in HSS and 55% in STM), whilst still rating their confidence in their reviewing skills as 8 or above out of 10 (66% in HSS and 64% in STM). For those yet to review, any guidance is popular - over two thirds would like to a) receive editor's guidelines b) attend a workshop or formal training or c) receive publisher guidelines, with only small differences in the numbers between each option.
Leon Heward-Mills, Global Publishing Director (Journals) for Taylor & Francis Group, said, "Understanding researchers' motivations to submit and review for journals is crucial, and even more so is what training and support is needed to help them in this. We hope this research contributes to the discussions in this area, aiding understanding in the value of, and issues surrounding, the peer review of articles for today's scholarly and research communities."