Journal Peer Review and Editorial Evaluation: Cautious Innovator or Sleepy Giant?

Minerva 58 (2):139-161 (2020)
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Abstract

Peer review of journal submissions has become one of the most important pillars of quality management in academic publishing. Because of growing concerns with the quality and effectiveness of the system, a host of enthusiastic innovators has proposed and experimented with new procedures and technologies. However, little is known about whether these innovations manage to convince other journal editors. This paper will address open questions regarding the implementation of new review procedures, the occurrence rate of various peer review procedures and their distribution over scientific disciplines or academic publishers, as well as the motivations for editors or publishers to engage in novel review procedures. It shows that in spite of enthusiastic innovation, the adoption of new peer review procedures is in fact very slow, with the exception of text similarity scanners. For now, peer review innovations appear to be restricted to specific niches in academic publishing. Analysing these niches, the article concludes with a reflection on the circumstances in which innovations might be more widely implemented.

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