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Enhancing Peer Review Standards for Quality Research Publications

A community-crowdsourced initiative to develop globally inclusive standards for Peer Review best practices

Published onFeb 14, 2024
Enhancing Peer Review Standards for Quality Research Publications

We herewith initiate a crowd-sourced mapping of Peer Review resources for a global research community to be informed and continue to co-create what we see as useful best practices and community standards.


Our central objective is to establish guidance for comprehensive and efficient peer review, focusing on distilling peer review best practices across world regions and research fields. By identifying and promoting resources that adhere to reasonable standards, we aim to contribute to a culture of accountability and reproducibility, aligning with the principles that the Open Science (OS) community has brought to the forefront.


Conceptualization and Writing: MJM, GD, JH (per CRediT taxonomy)


MJM: [email protected]
JH: [email protected]

Key Components

Identification of Quality Resources

  • We will develop criteria to filter and highlight resources that encapsulate peer review best practices.

  • Special emphasis will be placed on distilling information relevant to researchers and reviewers.

Defining Thresholds for Rejection

  • Clearly define thresholds and qualifiers for rejection.

  • Identify deal-breakers that prevent publication and qualifiers that strengthen the recommendation.

Measuring Quality Assurance Practices

  • Advocate for the mandatory adoption of FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).

  • Encourage publishers to incorporate Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) for improved traceability and reproducibility.

  • Encouragement for publishers to promote standardisation for availability statements pertaining to data but also resources, to enhance traceability and reproducibility.

Fostering Expert Collaboration

  • We aim to foster a collegial environment where experts from different backgrounds actively support each other in the peer review process.

  • Collaboration will be encouraged among researchers, editors, publishers, and librarians, in a collective effort to improve knowledge and review processes.

Target Audiences

This initiative is designed to benefit researchers, publishers, editors, and librarians alike.


  • Open access to curated resources that typify peer review best practices.

  • Contribution to and benefit from a collegial environment focused on improving research quality.

  • Guidance on how the effort invested into peer review can be turned into scholarly accreditation and contribute to recognition, rewards, and/or incentives.


  • Access to resources on peer review and subject matter-specific knowledge.

  • Improved editorial workflows for publication, access to email templates for effective communication, and quicker turn-around times for peer review.


  • Enhance the credibility and reputation of published work through rigorous peer review.

  • Embrace FAIR data principles and RRIDs to align with evolving standards in scientific publishing.

  • Establishing a strong network of scholarly stakeholder relationships with research resource providers, database curators, as well as patent and copyright experts.


  • Support for researchers in accessing high-quality peer review resources.

  • Contribute to a collaborative effort aimed at improving the overall knowledge and practices in peer review.

  • Recommendations on ease of use and applicability to specific target audiences (geographies, fields of research, types of peer review, etc.)

Implementation Plan

  1. Develop a standardized set of criteria for evaluating and recommending resources.

  2. Establish a platform for sharing curated resources with the global research community.

  3. Conduct outreach programs and workshops to educate stakeholders about the importance of peer review best practices.

  4. Collaborate with key organizations in the research community to promote the adoption of suggested standards.

Expected Outcomes

  • Improved transparency and accountability in the peer review process.

  • Enhanced reproducibility and reliability of published research.

  • Fostering a collaborative and collegial environment among researchers, publishers, and librarians.

By implementing these measures, we aim to strengthen the foundation of peer review, contributing to the advancement of knowledge and ensuring the highest standards of scientific rigor in the publication process.

Dr. Maria Machado

“I’m often asked “Who reviews the reviewers?”. In the traditional publishing model, journal editors choose reviewers based on their expertise. Reviewers can choose to post comments on preprints that they have a particular interest in, based on their own research experience. Crowd-sourced models have also begun to flourish. But there is no definition of what a GOOD peer review is and how to recognise it. That’s what we aim to change, by providing curated resources for training, quality standards, and raising pertinent questions that evolved from the current context. We want to help maintain integrity in the peer review process, by involving the community in assessing their own training needs.”

Dr Gareth Dyke

 “I’m interested in peer review because it’s the point in the research cycle with the most engagement. Peer reviewers are also active researchers; they have to be to do a good job! My goal is to help researchers to be as effective and successful as possible”.

Dr. Jo Havemann

“There are many good reasons for different types of peer review, each of which should be decided upon by a particular researcher community on institutional level. We have grown to get used to publisher owned peer review, while nowadays, there are plenty of publisher and journal-independent peer review platforms available, all of which present varying standards and best practices. We hope with this initiative to shed some light on some of the misconceptions and identify minimal viable standards that a globally scholarly community can easily agree upon, leaving room for necessary specifics.”

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