Sam T. Mathew – On professional and pre-submission review


hello everyone, I’m Dr Sam Matthew
a public communication enthusiast speaker, writer, editor, trainer and a
researcher in scholarly publishing. So my perspective of peer review comes from my different roles that I take such as other journal editor and a peer reviewer.
For any of these roles peer review is the most important step that confirms
the authenticity and integrity of research, however in my experience peer
review is one of the most inefficient or misused processes in scholarly publishing. So different aspects of peer review is already being discussed at different
platforms. So my focus is on the new concepts in performing peer review in a
challenging or the changing scholarly publishing landscape. The research
publishing community should however think about the evolution of peer review
process along with changes in publishing industry. Peer review which was considered as a voluntary service to the development of scientific community is
no more a free service. The peer reviewers are being paid for this of his nowadays. I would like to bring into your attention two of these changes recently brought about in peer review process; One is professionally managed peer review, by a professional peer reviewer and the second one is pre-submission peer review. Because of the unavailability of peer reviewers most of the new generation journals including PLoS, Nature and the Lancet employ peer
reviewers to review submitted manuscript however, I anticipate significant difference in the outcome of the peer review comments when compared with the
conventional peer review comments performed by an amateur peer reviewer
who is a subject matter expert or who is an author who published in the same
field. In many instances such peer review comments are very general rather than
being very specific usually such peer review comments are performed against a checklist that limit the scope of the review and also the editorial
independence of such peer reviewers are being questioned this fear views also
miss the perspective of a published author in the same topic or in the same
field of research second concern is the pre submission peer review which is
becoming very prevalent, especially among the Southeast Asian
authors. I have come across instances where
authors mentioned in the cover letter that the submitted paper is already
reviewed by a subject matter expert so if this is argued that the pre-submission peer review improves quality of the paper. There is not much
transparency in the process unless the pre-submisison peer review comments and other responses are shared with the journal editor unethical practices
during this process could not be completely ruled out. So I request Asian
Council of Science eEditors and other leadership organizations in scholarly
publishing to debate and deliberate on this topic and provide guidelines for
better management of these aspects of peer review while accepting and appreciating
the advantages offered by professionally managed peer review and the pre
submission peer review so I hope the upcoming ACSE conference 2020 will pave way for for this activity thank you for your patient listening. thank you

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