IOP Publishing launches co-review policy

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IOP Publishing (IOPP) has introduced a formal co-review policy, to help early-career researchers gain experience in peer review while ensuring they get credit for the work they contribute.

A co-reviewer is a researcher – often early in their career – who reviews a paper with a more senior (invited) reviewer.

For junior researchers, this can mean their contribution goes unrecognised – a recent survey found that nearly 80 per cent per cent of early-career researchers had undertaken peer review with their mentors, but received no credit.

IOPP’s new policy aims to solve this by trialling the formal co-review process on the journals Nano ExpressJournal of Optics and Journal of Physics D. Reviewers will be offered the chance to ‘delegate with co-review’, with the co-reviewer being formally invited to review the manuscript and receive official recognition for their work.

The policy will also encourage both co-reviewers to take up credit for their review via the Publons co-review credit feature.

David Evans, product manager for peer review at IOPP, said: “Co-review as a practice is often how new researchers learn peer review skills. However, if  it goes unrecognised, these researchers miss the opportunity to build their reputation as an experienced and qualified reviewer.

“Our new policy will enable co-reviewers to gain the recognition and reward they deserve for their important contributions and begin to build their peer review profile. We are excited to track the progress of the trial, and we hope to be able to rollout the process more widely later in the year.”

Kim Eggleton, research integrity and inclusion manager at IOPP, said: “Our research and interviews with early career researchers showed the lack of credit for co-review was a source of frustration, so we hope the new policy will help solve this problem. It also reinforces our commitment to open physics, as it should help improve the size and diversity of the reviewer pool, make the peer review process more transparent, and address any ethical concerns around co-review.”

Researchers who would like to become part of the IOP Publishing community of reviewers can volunteer their interest here.