Last month saw the Eighth International Congress on Peer Review and Scientific Publication take place in Chicago, Illinois. Journal editors, peer reviewers, publishers and researchers gathered to explore the quality and credibility of peer review with the aim to find ways to improve the reporting and dissemination of scientific research.
It all kicked off with a couple of lively pre-congress satellite workshops run in association with the EQUATOR Network, which explored the implementation of reporting guidelines and how to distinguish between predatory and legitimate journals. The main congress went on to cover three core areas of research through a series of presentations and posters over three days:
- Common problems with peer review and scientific publication, including potential biases associated with conflict of interest disclosures and peer review and the reporting and publication of research, plus issues surrounding integrity, misconduct, and data sharing.
- How processes can be improved to produce both high quality science and high quality reporting in the literature, including discussions on the use of reporting guidelines, trial registration and funding/grant review.
- Innovations in scientific publication, including those relating to editorial and peer review processes and pre- and post-publication issues.
Hot topics included the ongoing debate around open peer review, the use of patients as peer reviewers, the pros and cons of preprints (plus the plan for a new medical preprint server) and the SMARTA initiative to improve statistical peer review.
The congress closed with a deserved tribute to its founder, Drummond Rennie, and was followed by a post-congress satellite panel discussion on transparency in peer review. For those who could not attend, abstracts of all posters and presentations can be found here, and videos of sessions from the congress can be viewed here.