Peer review and preprint policies are unclear at most major journals

Thomas Klebel, Stefan Egon Reichmann, Jessica Polka, Gary McDowell, Naomi Penfold, Samantha Hindle, Tony Ross-Hellauer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Clear and findable publishing policies are important for authors to choose appropriate journals for publication. We investigated the clarity of policies of 171 major academic journals across disciplines regarding peer review and preprinting. 31.6% of journals surveyed do not provide information on the type of peer review they use. Information on whether preprints can be posted or not is unclear in 39.2% of journals. 58.5% of journals offer no clear information on whether reviewer identities are revealed to authors. Around 75% of journals have no clear policy on co-reviewing, citation of preprints, and publication of reviewer identities. Information regarding practices of open peer review is even more scarce, with <20% of journals providing clear information. Having found a lack of clear information, we conclude by examining the implications this has for researchers (especially early career) and the spread of open research practices.
Translated title of the contributionRichtlinien zu Begutachtung und Vorabveröffentlichung sind bei den meisten großen Zeitschriften unklar
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0239518
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2020

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