Open peer review

Open peer review describes a scientific literature concept and process, central to which is the various transparency and disclosure of the identities of those reviewing scientific publications. The concept thus represents a departure from, and an alternative to, the incumbent anonymous peer review process, in which non-disclosure of these identities toward the public – and toward the authors of the work under review – is default practice. The open peer review concept appears to constitute a response to modern criticisms of the incumbent system and therefore its emergence may be partially attributed to these phenomena. Scientific literature comprises scientific publications that report original empirical and theoretical work in the natural and social sciences, and within a scientific field is often abbreviated as the literature. Academic publishing is the process of placing the results of one's research into the literature. Scientific research on original work initially published in scientific journals is called primary literature. Patents and technical reports, for minor research results and engineering and design work (including computer software) can also be considered primary literature. Secondary sources include articles in review journals (which provide a synthesis of research articles on a topic to highlight advances and new lines of research), and books for large projects, broad arguments, or compilations of articles. Tertiary sources might include encyclopedias and similar works intended for broad public consumption. Rationale The traditional anonymous peer review has been criticized for its lack of accountability, possibility of abuse by reviewers, its possible bias and inconsistency,[1] alongside other flaws.[2][3] Both processes are intended to subject scholarly publications to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field. The evidence of the effect of open peer review upon the quality of reviews, the tone and the time spent on reviewing is mixed, although it does seem that under open peer review, more of those who are invited to review decline to do so. Types of scientific publications Scientific literature can include the following kinds of publications: scientific articles published in scientific journals patents specialized for science and technology (for example, biological patents and chemical patents) books wholly written by one or a small number of co-authors edited volumes, where each chapter is the responsibility of a different author or set of authors, though the editor may take some responsibility for ensuring consistency of style and content presentations at academic conferences, especially those organized by learned societies government reports such as a forensic investigation conducted by a government agency such as the NTSB scientific publications on the World Wide Web books, technical reports, pamphlets, and working papers issued by individual researchers or research organizations on their own initiative; these are sometimes organised into a series blogs and science forums The significance of these different components of the literature varies between disciplines and has changed over time. As of 2006, peer-reviewed journal articles remain the predominant publication type, and have the highest prestige. However, journals vary enormously in their prestige and importance, and the value of a published article depends on the journal. The significance of books, also called research monographs, depends on the subject. Generally books published by university presses are usually considered more prestigious than those published by commercial presses. The status of working papers and conference proceedings depends on the discipline; they are typically more important in the applied sciences. The value of publication as a preprint or scientific report on the web has in the past been low, but in some subjects, such as mathematics or high energy physics, it is now an accepted alternative.