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Contemporary Concepts in Publishing

Peer Review Week 2021: Identity in Peer Review

 

Kathrine Fetizanan, Marketing & Engagement Specialist

November 2021


Every year, individuals, organizations, and institutions in the scientific publishing community come together for Peer Review Week to discuss and participate in events that celebrate the role of peer review in scientific research. Peer Review Week 2021 took place from September 20–24, 2021 with the theme of “Identity in Peer Review”, emphasizing one’s personal and social identity in peer review and the ways the scholarly community can nurture diverse, equitable, and inclusive practices in scientific publishing.

Highlights of Peer Review Week 2021

This year’s theme comes at an especially critical time where recent social justice movements are occurring in response to systemic inequities, coupled with the magnitude and devastating effects of COVID-19. Organizations within the scholarly publishing industry kept this in mind and took steps to reflect the diverse voices of the peer review process on various platforms. These platforms included blog posts, videos, webinars, podcasts, and other forms of media.

Notable takeaways include:

• A video featuring a panel of researchers, reviewers, and colleagues at Hindawi exploring the multi-faceted role of identity in peer review and how to improve their inclusivity. Speakers from around the world talked about their experiences of diversity in peer review in their native tongue and emphasized in their own way how the various backgrounds of researchers and peer reviewers need to be considered.

Elsevier released a series of blog articles centering around diversity in peer review and recent initiatives to promote it, including a two-part blog post as a tool-kit for editors on how to improve reviewer diversity, where transparency—not only with oneself about possible unconscious bias but also with others about initiatives and determination to increase diversity—was emphasized.

• The Council of Science Editors released an episode on its new podcast series Scientific Publishing Exchange Around Knowledge (S.P.E.A.K), discussing the role of politics in peer review.

Peer Review Week 2021 revealed the importance of diversity and identity in peer review. With the events and content presented, the scholarly community is more focused than ever on inclusivity in the world of scientific publishing.

Lastly, check out the Peer Review Week official website for the full list of articles, blogs and videos. You can also catch up on the activity by exploring Peer Review Week’s Twitter (@PeerRevWeek) and their YouTube channel.

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