See-through review

May 7, 2015

David Colquhoun’s letter “Pressured peers” (30 April) discussed peer review and some of the reasons why the practice is flawed.

PeerJ has been tackling some of the problematic issues of peer review for the past two years by giving authors the option to publish the entire review history alongside the article, in addition to the usual suite of post-publication commenting. To date, about 80 per cent of authors have opted to have their review history published (and all reviews are CC BY Open Access).

And for those who preprint at PeerJ (that is, an “archive” site as mentioned by Colquhoun), editors can take preprint feedback into account for the peer-reviewed submission as well.

There are still benefits to having peer review, but of course it must be taken with a grain of salt. We believe that added transparency (via an audit trail of the review history) tied into a pre-publication preprint can fill in a lot of the gaps.

Jason Hoyt
Chief executive and co-founder, PeerJ

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