Posted by: cjlortie | April 12, 2011

Most referees are happy.

A recent set of results from a very large survey (4000 respondents) found that about 70% of referees are satisfied with the current peer-review system.   Importantly, 90% perceive peer review as a means to participate in the academic community.  Wow, I am surprised!  So, get reviewing folks.  Click here for the link to the news post, but ensure that you also grab the ‘preliminary findings’ by following the link and downloading the powerpoint file as it has more detail.

These finds are not in line with what I expected at all given my experience on editorial boards or my research on peer review.  However, given the size of the resondent pool, it seems pretty robust.  Maybe ecology and evolution is different?


  1. Here is a link to my lengthy discussion of the results of this survey (and a similar survey from 2 years prior, for which more detailed results are available):

    These surveys do show some aspects of the peer review system in a surprisingly positive light, but they also provide some reasons for serious concern. And because they’re snapshots encompassing all fields of academia, they don’t provide any temporal information (are things getting worse?) or any information on the state of particular fields, such as ecology.

    Owen Petchey and I are in the process of trying to obtain detailed journal-level time series data on various aspects of the state of the peer review system in ecology. See here for discussion of what such data might reveal:

    -Jeremy Fox

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