At Taylor & Francis, we are always working hard to develop our electronic peer-review systems to improve and enhance the quality of peer review, and to help make submission and peer-review management simpler, smoother, and more straightforward for journal editors, authors, and reviewers.
Read on to find out more about the recent changes we have made, why, and how to get the most out of the latest developments to your electronic peer review system.
Safeguarding the integrity of peer review
Whilst we’ve seen a real advance in peer-review systems over the past few years, with more and more journals adopting electronic peer-review systems, unfortunately we’ve also seen an increase in the ethical issues surrounding peer review.
One of most high-profile ethical issues that has continued to be a problematic area of concern is the increase in cases of “fake reviewers,” whereby authors suggest seemingly legitimate academic reviewers, but the addresses that accompany the suggestions are not controlled by the person named; but rather the webmail address is controlled either by a biased close associate of the author, or the author of the manuscript, posing as a qualified reviewer.
As a responsible publisher, Taylor & Francis have been looking at ways to tackle this issue, and one of the steps we have taken to safeguard the integrity of our peer review has been to remove the “Preferred reviewers” function from our ScholarOne Manuscripts and Editorial Manager sites. Now, during the author submission process, contributors will no longer be asked to suggest the names and contact details of possible reviewers across all of our ScholarOne and Editorial Manager peer review management systems. We made the decision to remove this feature from our manuscript-tracking systems to help safeguard our peer-review process, and ensure it remains objective, responsible, and fair. See here for more information on this.
We are very aware that finding suitable reviewers isn’t easy, and that it can be a very time-consuming and laborious task for journal editors.
To make discovering reviewers easier for our editors, we have reviewer locator tools on our electronic editorial systems. Drawing information from extensive databases of researchers, the reviewer locator tools help match submissions to suitable reviewers, thus making the process of finding reviewers for manuscripts much easier.
On ScholarOne we have Reviewer Locator. As soon as a paper is submitted, the Reviewer Locator will automatically search for reviewers based on a manuscript’s keywords and abstract. These keywords and abstracts are fed into the Web of Science and a complex algorithm discovers potential reviewers based on their previous publications in the same area of expertise. It is a fantastic way to broaden the search for potential reviewers for your journal and ensures that a wide range of experts in the field can evaluate the research being presented.
By the time you are assigned as an editor, the search results should be available – all you have to do is go to the “Select Reviewers” page, and you will find the potential reviewer details. Find information on each reviewer and the paper that has flagged him or her as a potential option by clicking the “View details” link under each paper. ScholarOne has put together a handy video explanation of the Reviewer Locator Tool – watch this to find out more.
On Editorial Manager we have Reviewer Discovery. Enabled by Aries, the Reviewer Discovery tool initiates a search against a third-party database of biographic and bibliographic profiles of around 2.5 million scholars and researchers from the ProQuest Community of Scholars (PQ). Reviewer Discovery matches an article’s title and abstract against PQ profiles, and the result is a list of matches based on how closely the topics reflected in the title and abstract correlate with the PQ scholar profiles.
When the Reviewer Discovery feature is enabled, editors selecting reviewers for a submission will see a new “Reviewer Discovery from ProQuest Community of Scholars” search option. When this option is selected, a search is initiated automatically, and a message is displayed letting the editor know that the search has started.
What are the next steps?
The Reviewer Locator tools are available now. We would encourage you to use these as another great way to source reviewers.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact either Lynsey Haire, Head of Taylor & Francis Peer Review Systems (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the Managing Editor or Publisher of your journal.