Should Authors be Requested to Suggest Peer Reviewers?
- 179 Downloads
As part of a continuous process to explore the factors that might weaken or corrupt traditional peer review, in this paper, we query the ethics, fairness and validity of the request, by editors, of authors to suggest peer reviewers during the submission process. One of the reasons for the current crisis in science pertains to a loss in trust as a result of a flawed peer review which is by nature biased unless it is open peer review. As we indicate, the fact that some editors and journals rely on authors’ suggestions in terms of who should peer review their paper already instills a potential way to abuse the trust of the submission and publishing system. An author-suggested peer reviewer choice might also tempt authors to seek reviewers who might be more receptive or sympathetic to the authors’ message or results, and thus favor the outcome of that paper. Authors should thus not be placed in such a potentially ethically compromising situation, especially as a mandatory condition for submission. However, the fact that they do not have an opt-out choice during the submission process—especially when using an online submission system that makes such a suggestion compulsory—may constitute a violation of authors’ rights.
KeywordsCompromised trust Flexible ethics Lax selection Open versus traditional peer review Rules
- ATS (The Annals of Thoracic Surgery). (2017). Guidelines for reviewers (and authors). http://www.annalsthoracicsurgery.org/pb/assets/raw/Health%20Advance/journals/ats/reviewerguidelines.pdf. 27 October, 2016.
- Barbash, F. (2015). Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal. Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/27/fabricated-peer-reviews-prompt-scientific-journal-to-retract-43-papers-systematic-scheme-may-affect-other-journals/. 27 October, 2016.
- Bartoli, A., De Lorenzo, A., Medvet, E., & Tarlao, F. (2016). Your paper has been accepted, rejected, or whatever: Automatic generation of scientific paper reviews. In Availability, Reliability, and Security in Information Systems. (Vol. 9817 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp 19–28). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45507-5.
- Earnshaw, J. J., Farndon, J. R., Guillou, P. J., Johnson, C. D., Murie, J. A., & Murray, G. D. (2000). A comparison of reports from referees chosen by authors or journal editors in the peer review process. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 82, 133–135.Google Scholar
- HLC (Higher Learning Commission). (2016). Determining qualified faculty through HLC’s criteria for accreditation and assumed practices. Guidelines for institutions and peer reviewers. http://download.hlcommission.org/FacultyGuidelines_2016_OPB.pdf. 27 October, 2016.
- Korkmaz, S. A. (2017). Retraction notice to “Diagnosis of cervical cancer cell taken from scanning electron and atomic force microscope images of the same patients using discrete wavelet entropy energy and Jensen Shannon, Hellinger, Triangle Measure classifier” [SAA 160 (2016) 39–49]. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 170, 267. doi:10.1016/j.saa.2016.06.019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kowalczuk, M. K., Dudbridge, F., Nanda, S., Harriman, S. L., Patel, J., & Moylan, E. C. (2015). Retrospective analysis of the quality of reports by author-suggested and non-author-suggested reviewers in journals operating on open or single-blind peer review models. BMJ Open, 5(9), e008707. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kumar, M. (2009). A review of the review process: Manuscript peer-review in biomedical research. Biology and Medicine, 1(4), 16.Google Scholar
- Reller, T. (2016). Elsevier publishing— a look at the numbers, and more. Elsevier. https://www.elsevier.com/connect/elsevier-publishing-a-look-at-the-numbers-and-more. 27 October, 2016.
- Scholarone (2012). Thomson Reuters Quantifies Asia’s Rise in Global Submission Rates to Academic Publishers. http://scholarone.com/about/press/globalsubrelease/. 27 October, 2016.
- Teixeira da Silva, J. A. (2013). Responsibilities and rights of authors, peer reviewers, editors and publishers: A status quo inquiry and assessment. The Asian and Australasian Journal of Plant Science and Biotechnology, 7(Special Issue 1), 6–15.Google Scholar
- Teixeira da Silva, J. A. (2016a). On the abuse of online submission systems, fake peer reviews and editor-created accounts. Persona y Bioética 20(2): (in press).Google Scholar
- Teixeira da Silva, J. A. & Katavić, V. (2016). Free editors and peers: Squeezing the lemon dry. Ethics & Bioethics (in press).Google Scholar
- Warne, V. (2015). Peer review week arrives! https://hub.wiley.com/community/exchanges/discover/blog/2015/09/28/peer-review-week-arrives?referrer=exchanges. 27 October, 2016.