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How long is too long in contemporary peer review? Perspectives from authors publishing in conservation biology journals

Nguyen, Vivian M., Haddaway, Neal R., Gutowsky, Lee F. G., Wilson, Alexander D. M., Gallagher, Austin J., Donaldson, Michael R., Hammerschlag, Neil and Cooke, Steven J. 2015, How long is too long in contemporary peer review? Perspectives from authors publishing in conservation biology journals, PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 8, pp. 1-20, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132557.

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Title How long is too long in contemporary peer review? Perspectives from authors publishing in conservation biology journals
Author(s) Nguyen, Vivian M.
Haddaway, Neal R.
Gutowsky, Lee F. G.
Wilson, Alexander D. M.
Gallagher, Austin J.
Donaldson, Michael R.
Hammerschlag, Neil
Cooke, Steven J.
Journal name PLoS One
Volume number 10
Issue number 8
Article ID e0132557
Start page 1
End page 20
Total pages 20
Publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1932-6203
Summary Delays in peer reviewed publication may have consequences for both assessment of scientific prowess in academics as well as communication of important information to the knowledge receptor community. We present an analysis on the perspectives of authors publishing in conservation biology journals regarding their opinions on the importance of speed in peer-review as well as how to improve review times. Authors were invited to take part in an online questionnaire, of which the data was subjected to both qualitative (open coding, categorizing) and quantitative analyses (generalized linear models). We received 637 responses to a total of 6,547 e-mail invitations sent. Peer-review speed was generally perceived as slow, with authors experiencing a typical turnaround time of 14 weeks while their perceived optimal review time is six weeks. Male and younger respondents seem to have higher expectations of review speed than females and older respondents. Majority of participants attributed lengthy review times to the 'stress' on the peer-review system (i.e., reviewer and editor fatigue), while editor persistence and journal prestige were believed to speed up the review process. Negative consequences of lengthy review times appear to be greater for early career researchers and can also have impact on author morale (e.g. motivation or frustration). Competition among colleagues were also of concern to respondents. Incentivizing peer review was among the top suggested alterations to the system along with training graduate students in peer review, increased editorial persistence, and changes to the norms of peer-review such as opening the peer-review process to the public. It is clear that authors surveyed in this study view the peer-review system as under stress and we encourage scientists and publishers to push the envelope for new peer review models.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0132557
Field of Research 160808 Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology
Socio Economic Objective 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30077722

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.