February 9, 2017
AIBS is pleased to announce the availability of a new report, "Peer Review: A System Under Stress." The report includes the recommendations from the 2016 meeting of the AIBS Council of Member Societies and Organizations.
The report is available at https://www.aibs.org/events/resources/AIBSCMReport_Final.pdf.
In recent years, there have been a number of high profile examples of flawed or fraudulent research being published. Simultaneously, many funders have been pressed to limit the amount of money spent on peer review. Adding to these challenges has been an increase in the number of for-profit journals, the frequency of requests of scientists to review manuscripts, and interdisciplinary research that can strain the capacity of peer review panel members. Peer review managers have also been challenged to reduce bias and maintain the integrity of the process. A further strain on the system is that policymakers and the public increasingly demand transparency and open access to data and publications.
Despite some flaws, the peer review system has served us well. Of significant concern, however, is a growing belief that the system is under stress. Agencies are struggling to review increasing numbers of research applications, and journals are struggling to find a third reviewer for articles. The scientific community must allocate more attention to these issues, particularly to the need for improved training, new expectations for scientific community members, and greater research into the factors that inform and influence peer review.
AIBS is considering how it might work with its membership to address the recommendations included in this report. If your organization would like to explore ways you might collaborate with us in this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Gropp at 202-628-1500 x250.