The European Association of Science Editors (EASE) is an international community of individuals and associations from diverse backgrounds, linguistic traditions and professional experience in science communication and editing.

IMPER Peer Review Practices Survey

A peer review research programme (IMPER), financed by The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) aims investigate the effectiveness of peer review as one of science’s self-regulatory mechanisms, particularly its’ ability to recognise erroneous or fraudulent research.

In order to do so, the project team, led by Dr. Willem Halffman and Serge Horbach at Radboud University Nijmegen, are calling for journal editors and administrators to provide information on the models and processes they use to conduct their peer review.

On behalf of the project team, we post the link to their survey which consists of a few simple questions about the peer review process in your journal (e.g. whether you adhere to double-blind, single-blind or open review, what criteria for quality is considered).  The survey will be live until 16th March, and is available at this link:

We hope our members in suitable editorial positions will be able to help contribute to this research.  Filling out the questionnaire will not take much more than five minutes. If you are involved with multiple journals, the team request that you complete the survey for each journal separately.

In return, the team offer to share the results of our project with you. Should you wish to receive details, you may indicate this in the final question of the survey.

– Friday 2nd March, 2018 –

EASE & PEERE Training School on Peer Review





TD1306 COST ACTION “New Frontiers of Peer Review”
PEERE Training School on Peer Review
15-17 May 2018
University of Split School of Medicine

With the support of EASE, the TD1306 PEERE (New Frontiers of Peer Review) organises a training school on peer review open to doctoral and postdoctoral students, researchers, journal editors and other professionals who want to improve their knowledge on peer review and learn about the best practices in the management of the peer review process.

The School will consist of a combination of lectures and practical work, which will include peer review tutorials by journal editors, publishers and leading scholars. The participants will hear about innovative models of peer review and discuss the managerial implications and new technology frontiers in peer review. Different stakeholders in peer review will have a unique opportunity to discuss the current challenges in peer review and look into its future.

The School Co-Directors are Ana Marušić (EASE President / University of Split School of Medicine, Croatia), Virginia Dignum (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands) and Flaminio Squazzoni (University of Brescia, Italy).

The school will take place at the University of Split School of Medicine, Room B102, Soltanska 2, 21000 Split, Croatia.

For further information, visit the PEERE website or email here

PEERE International Conference on Peer Review

PEERE International Conference on Peer Review, 7-9 March 2018, CNR (National Research Council) Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro, Italy

The TD1306 COST Action PEERE organises an interdisciplinary conference on peer review, to be held in March this year.

The conference aims to provide a forum for scholars, practitioners and science stakeholders to share evidence on peer review in different fields, e.g., medicine, computer science, social sciences and humanities. It aims to stimulate the use of evidence-based research in the design and implementation of peer review in a variety of fields and encourage more systematic research.

The conference will feature original research, position papers, literature reviews that use any method (e.g., quantitative, experimental or qualitative) to investigate peer review in a variety of scientific domains (e.g., scholarly journals, funding agencies, research assessment).

Topics that will be included in the conferennce will include:

•Quantitative and qualitative analysis of peer review in scholarly journals and funding agencies
•Estimating editorial and reviewer bias
•The impact of different peer review models (single vs. double blind, confidential vs. open etc.) on reviewer attitudes and editorial decisions
•Incentives, motivation and recognition in peer review
•Social network analysis of peer review and editorial policy
•Models and theories of peer review: principles, functions and management
•Applications of bibliometrics, altmetrics and scientometrics to peer review
•Perspectives from policy makers, grant funding agencies, libraries, and publishers
•Computer simulation studies of peer review dynamics and outcomes

Visit the PEERE website for full details and further notices of the event:

Taylor & Francis to pay reviewers in fast track publishing service

Providing authors with faster peer review and rewarding reviewers for their assistance to publishers in achieving this goal are thorny issues, but one of the large publishers is trying a new initiative.

Taylor & Francis have described how their Accelerated Publication service for authors involves payments of $150 to each peer reviewer who submits their comments within one week.

There are no official details of the payment structure available on the T&F website as yet, but they do present the workflow for this Accelerated Publication service:

In a Twitter conversation with science communication journalist Richard Poynder@tandfonline revealed the payment news and provided several details of the process and motives behind it:

“Hi there Accelerated Publication covers submission to online publication and is designed to meet the needs of a select group, primarily in the biomedical sciences. (1/6)

This service is designed to give authors more control over timing of publication to fit with grant deadlines, product launches etc (2/6)

Reviewers are paid an honorarium on completion of their review because we are asking them to complete within a set timeframe. (3/6)

This timeframe is clear in all correspondence to reviewers invited to review Accelerated Publication submissions, and they accept the invitation on this basis. (4/6)

Payment is completely independent of their recommendation to the editor and many papers are in fact rejected e.g. CMRO had rejection rate of 52% on Accelerated Publication submissions in 2017 (5/6)

Hope this explains but if you have any more questions please contact us on, and we’ll come back to you as quickly as we can. (6/6)”

This is not the first time a large publisher has tried a fast-track system involving payments to peer reviewers. In 2015, Nature’s Scientific Reports set up a trial with Rubriq to offer a similar service, which saw one of their editors quit the journal in protest.

This was part of a trial for conceptual journal-independent peer review services, where companies conduct a scientific review of papers, then pass them to a suitable journal where the decision process could be accelerated.  However, during 2017, Rubriq and Axiom Review, a company providing similar services, both folded due to lack of take-up. It seems that vision for payment and speed incentives was not right for the time or place.

T&F have been actively involved in trying to determine suitable means of compensating their reviewers for some time. In 2016 they published a white paper titled “Peer Review – a global view”, which investigated many opinions around the process,  one section of which addressed incentives. The survey identified strong support for free access to papers, waivers for open access and page fees, and recognition, in the form of certificates or a published list of names (with stronger support if the name was not directly related to the paper).

On the subject of direct financial compensation, their survey found a lack of consensus, with almost equal numbers of responses stating they would be “less likely”, “more likely”, and neutrally valenced. Deeper analysis of responses showed the:

“youngest age group (20-29 year olds) are most in favour of receiving payment and those who are 60+ are most resistant. Whether this attitude among younger scholars will change as they progress in their careers, or if the call for reviewers to be paid will grow in time, could be an area of future examination.”

T&F appear to have approached this controversial issue as carefully and diligently as possible before launching this service, so we are keen to watch how response to their version unfolds.

– Sunday 21st January, 2018 –

More steps towards transparency in research publishing

An Editorial published in Nature in September presented some “Steps towards transparency in research publishing” (Nature 2017;549(431), doi: 10.1038/549431a)

The Editorial discusses how progress in the transparency of both research and editorial processes is gathering pace, discussing five forms of transparency documented in a project overseen by Malcolm Macleod of the University of Edinburgh.

In addition to the positive steps, the Editorial also poses questions about the risks involved in opening up, considering whether transparency could give rise to a different sort of bias; for example, some authors do not want to know who authored a positive peer review, so that they can avoid future positive peer review bias themselves.

EASE Peer Reviewing Group – join the discussion!

We have added two big developments on the EASE site relating to peer review this week.

EASE Peer Reviewing Group

We are delighted to announce the formation of a new EASE working group looking at Peer Review. This group will be looking at guidelines, good practice, the culture of review and how to recognise and reward reviewers – and many other topics.

There is a public forum for discussion of peer review topics (open for non members as well as members) so please do take a look and encourage your colleagues to contribute – see

We will be discussing several topics during peer review week – we’d love to hear your views on all the tricky reviewing issues.

EASE Peer Reviewers’ toolkit

To coordinate with Peer review Week, the EASE Peer Review Working Group has assembled a selection of resources on the peer review process

Those new to the peer review process – and those not so new – may find these links useful, so visit the website and bookmark the page!

If you know of any other resources that we should add to the site, please let us know.