IOP Publishing extends co-review policy to entire owned journal portfolio, delivering a collaborative and supportive experience for all reviewers 

IOP Publishing (IOPP) is rolling-out a new co-review policy across its entire owned journal portfolio as part of its commitment to ensuring an inclusive and supportive review process.  

Early career researchers (ECRs) often support more experienced academics by contributing ideas or comments to peer review reports. Yet, according to a survey, 70% of ECRs say that their name was withheld from the editorial staff after they served as a reviewer or co-reviewer on a report, and they received no official recognition for their work.  

IOPP’s co-review policy, which follows an initial trial across three journals, means that reviewers can formally invite a colleague to collaborate with them. By legitimising the co-review practice, ECRs gain hands-on peer review experience, guidance from a mentor and credit for their contributions. It also helps to expand the reviewer pool and provides experienced reviewers with the opportunity to support aspiring researchers while helping to alleviate their reviewing pressures.  

When receiving an invitation to review a manuscript, researchers will now be offered the chance to ‘delegate with co-review’ and their chosen colleague will receive a formal invitation to join the review.  The co-reviewer will then receive official recognition for their work through the Web of Science Reviewer Recognition Service.  

Laura Feetham, Reviewer Engagement Manager at IOP Publishing, says: “We have listened to our reviewers, and we know from our interviews with early career researchers that the lack of recognition for their reviews is a source of frustration. Extending our policy to all our proprietary journals brings a solution and we are excited about the positive change this can bring. Legitimising co-reviewing will help to increase the size and diversity of our reviewer pool, making the peer review process more transparent, and addressing ethical concerns around reviewer recognition.” 

IOPP’s Peer Review Excellence training and certification programme is another example of its commitment to increasing trust and standardising the quality of the peer review process. Launched in 2020, it is completely free and helps ECRs to review with confidence through a blend of digital learning. ‘IOP trusted reviewer status’ can be achieved, demonstrating the ability to constructively critique scientific literature to an exceptional standard. 

Researchers interested in becoming become part of the IOP Publishing community of reviewers and opt-in for co-review can find out more here.