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Weighing Up Anonymity and Openness in Publication Peer Review

A PLOS Blog yesterday authored by Hilda Bastian discusses several issues relating to peer review, including:

  • Do attempts to mask the identity of authors affect acceptance or rejection of manuscripts, or the scientific quality of peer review reports? The answer appears to be no.
  • Does revealing peer reviewers’ identities affect acceptance or rejection, or the scientific quality and collegiality of peer review reports? The answer again appears to be no. However, it can lead to a detrimental effect: many peer-reviewers declining the invitation to peer review.
  • Does masking identities of authors and/or peer reviews affects detectable bias against authors? It seems that more evidence is required on this point.

In the blog, the author states: “Author and peer reviewer anonymity haven’t been shown to have an overall benefit, and they may cause harm.”.

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Peer review

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Ryan co-runs Aspire Scientific, a dynamic, forward-thinking medical writing agency. Ryan has a passion for innovation, science and ethical communication.

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