Transparency in the peer-review process is imperative in preserving the publishing industry

Trust and Truth in Transparency

By Colby Conway on Sep 14, 2017
Peer Review Week is an event that spotlights the importance of the peer review process for scholarly publications. Predatory publishing has become a real threat in the industry, diminishing credibility and putting nearly everything into question. One of the main ways to combat the qualms with predatory publishing and concerns with peer review is transparency. The entire peer review process can be lengthy at times, but it’s imperative to the credibility, reliability and validity of the journal.

Carlos Nunes Silva, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of E-Planning Research, stated his thoughts on the importance of transparency and mentioned how transparency is crucial from start to finish.

“Transparency in the peer review process means to inform about what is behind the editorial decision-making,” says Carlos Nunes Silva. “In other words, to make clear, namely for authors but also for reviewers and ultimately also to readers, how a decision was taken, what exactly was decided and why was the paper accepted or rejected.”

IGI Global follows a strict double-blind peer review process that features many steps along the way, as explained in this peer review video. From the initial assessment by the Editor-in-Chief to the final assessment after the author’s revisions, IGI Global’s eEditorial Discovery online submissions system makes the entire peer review process transparent for authors and reviewers.

The International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR) follows the guidelines below:

“After a preliminary assessment by the editor-in-chief, all manuscripts are subject to at least two rounds of reviews by at least three reviewers in each round. These reviewers, members of the editorial board or/and ad-hoc reviewers, are all highly qualified professionals in the respective field. Only a very exceptional manuscript can expect an editorial decision based on just one round of the three review report. The author of a research paper is expected to submit the revised version(s) of the paper along with a list of detailed responses to each point raised by the reviewers. The return of a manuscript to the author(s) for revision does not guarantee acceptance of the manuscript for publication. A decision of acceptance or rejection requires unanimity of the 3 reviewers. If no unanimity is reached after the second round of reviews, an associated editor will produce an additional review report. Based on all these reports, seven or more, a final editorial decision is then taken.”

To further prioritize the importance of transparency, Carlos Nunes Silva and the International Journal of E-Planning Research take it a step further than most journals.

“The application of the IJEPR current peer review policy, which is clearly transparent, is an important condition to keep confidence in the journal. The IJEPR publishes, since its first volume, a list of reviewers in the last issue of each volume (with the name, institutional affiliation, and country of each reviewer). This is indeed an important practice towards opening the editorial decision process by making clear to everyone who took part in the decision-making.”

The publishing industry is at risk of becoming extremely saturated and less credible because of the influx of predatory publishers that will publish anything with a transaction of some monetary value. To continue fighting this, Peer Review week attempts to emphasize the featured role that transparency and peer review play in scholarly literature. IGI Global will continue to enforce a double-blind and transparent peer review process and establish itself as a reputable, credible publisher in the scholarly industry.

You can join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #PeerRevWk17.

IGI Global would like to thank Dr. Carlos Nunes Silva for contributing his thoughts on the importance of transparency in peer review.

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