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Editorial and Peer-Review Process Innovations: 2017 Peer Review Congress

The plenary session, “Editorial and Peer-Review Process Innovations,” at the 2017 Peer Review Congress in Chicago, Illinois, in September 2017 presented research on innovation in peer review. The scholarly publishing community is experiencing increasing scrutiny of the idea, value, and implementation of peer review as a concept, from those both within and outside our industry. During this session, presenters shared their findings related to adapting the peer-review process in ways that speak to the questions about the validity and function of peer review. Each presentation demonstrated how flexibility in peer review can help the publication process respond to evolving needs in the scientific community. Editorial Policy and Biomedical Research Reporting Malcolm Macleod, representing the Nature Publication Quality Improvement Project (NPQIP) Collaborative Group, presented the first plenary abstract assessing whether a change in editorial policy could increase specific types of author reporting in manuscripts. The impetus for this study was the desire to increase author reporting of the measures they took to reduce the risk of bias in their study design, including randomization, blinding, sample size calculation, and exclusions. In 2013, Nature Publishing Group (NPG) began mandating that authors complete a 74-item checklist at revision submission indicating which of the four aforementioned criteria were included in their manuscript. (The current checklist used by Nature can be found online in the Life Sciences Reporting Guidelines section of the For Authors information page.) NPG went from zero manuscripts meeting all four criteria before the implementation of the checklist to 17.1% of manuscripts being […]

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