When ASAPbio launched their ‘Publish Your Reviews’ initiative in early July, Hindawi was one of the initial signatories. We are now taking proactive steps to encourage reviewers in all our journals to publish their review where an author has chosen to make their manuscript available as a preprint. You can read our commitment in our reviewer guidelines here.
The review can be posted either on the relevant preprint server, or on an independent online platform (e.g. PreReview). ASAPbio provides resources which include a guide on how to publish reviews and an FAQ section to make the process as smooth as possible.
We ask reviewers to follow ASAPbio’s Recommendations for Reviewers and not to explicitly state the journal or publisher's name within their published review, nor their recommendation for publication, to protect the confidentiality of the peer review process.
Why is this important?
ASAPbio lists their rationale behind the initiative and how it benefits the scholarly community below:
“1. Provides readers with additional context on preprints, pointing out strengths, weaknesses, and open questions.
2. Enables reuse of peer reviews, thereby reducing burden on editors and reviewers.
3. Brings discussions into the public domain, where readers can enrich the conversation with diverse expertise.
4. Surfaces the work of reviewers to a broader audience, promoting greater recognition for this important work.
5. Catalyzes a culture of open commenting on preprints by surfacing hidden conversation.”
What does this mean for us?
Hindawi's Open Science Team supports this initiative as part of our wider commitment to placing the research community at the heart of everything we do.
20 years have passed since the Budapest Open Access Initiative first laid out initiatives to make all research open access and since then we have seen a great drive across the publishing world to make this a reality. But Open Access is just the first step towards Open Science. Two decades on, we must continue to consider the future of research communication, its integrity, its transparency, and its accessibility. To this effect, one of the priorities suggested in the 2021 UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was open peer review. eLife's recent announcement detailed their intention to move away from traditional accept or reject decisions and switch to publishing research outputs labelled as Reviewed Preprints alongside an eLife assessment and public reviews. This is among many innovations where publishers are integrating open reviews and preprinting into their practices. The Covid-19 pandemic made this a higher priority with the urgent need to dispel science scepticism and improve accountability in research publication. To this end, we are focused on collaboration and innovation to make scholarly communication more open and transparent.
We fully support the ‘Publish Your Reviews’ initiative and hope it will be could be the first step in a journey of encouraging reviewers to engage in open peer review and as an industry explore the benefits and opportunities this model presents. In particular, the nature of this initiative gives credit to reviewers for this vitally important work, as well allowing reviewers to discover the benefits of open, public dialogue surrounding their assessments. We hope the collaborative nature of these discussions encourages learning for review processes, and a higher uptake in authors preprinting their work.
Where are we now?
6 months on from the launch of ‘Publish Your Reviews’, ASAPbio have initiated numerous conversations regarding the adoption and interaction with the initiative. These include interactive discussions with ASAPbio Fellows as well as other researchers and stakeholders illuminating benefits, and pitfalls, alongside ideas to make preprinting practices constructive and open.
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