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Who’s doing all of the peer review?

Peer review_emerging nations.jpg

How is the peer review landscape evolving? The Global State of Peer Review report provides some interesting insights, as discussed in a recent article published in Nature.

The report combines data from Publons, Web of Science Core Collection and ScholarOne Manuscripts databases with responses from almost 12,000 researchers to one of the largest global surveys on scholarly peer review. The results showed that “researchers in developed countries provide nearly three times as many peer reviews per paper submitted as researchers in emerging nations”, although the number of contributions to peer review from emerging economies is rising rapidly. Despite this, the report reveals that finding peer reviewers is becoming harder and, perhaps not surprisingly, many researchers (42%) decline review requests because they are too busy.

As discussed in the article, the report’s key message is that “scientists in emerging nations are keen to do peer review, but do not receive as many requests as their colleagues.” This is likely exacerbated by the fact that editors, journal board members and their networks are still largely centred in developed nations. Therefore, as the study suggests, a solution to ‘reviewer fatigue’ may be for authors and editors to ”cast a wider net” when looking for potential peer reviewers.


Summary by Louise Niven, DPhil from Aspire Scientific


With thanks to our sponsors, Aspire Scientific Ltd and NetworkPharma Ltd

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