Requirements to the Open Peer Review Platform

Stefan Egon Reichmann, Oleksandr Berezko, Tony Ross-Hellauer

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Aims: Specify contextual requirements for the development of an Open Peer Review (OPR) platform to be used in later OPTIMA activities, implementing open peer review processes at academic conferences in Ukraine to increase academic integrity and build a virtual community of reviewers.
Approach: EU experts from TU GRAZ, UCA and EIFL conducted two Open Science training workshops in Graz (March 2021) and Nice (June 2021) which were used to gather requirements for the OPR platform. This report summarizes the findings of these requirements gathering exercises. One day of each workshop has been devoted to gathering insights from Ukrainian project partners on the specifics of Ukrainian academia and their implications for the OPR platform development. Participants were asked for their input during two breakout sessions (one in English, one in Ukrainian) as well as two group discussions, one before, one after the breakout session. Requirements were collected using field notes and recordings of the sessions.
Recommendations: Start building a dedicated virtual community of peer reviewers. Include both English and Ukrainian reviews to widen the pool of reviewers. Make the review process as open as possible (but as closed as necessary). Support flexible workflows to enable specific conferences to tailor OPR systems to their needs. Be aware that scarcity of resources (especially of issue for displaced universities) may be problematic in implementing new OPR systems. Familiarize students with the elements and aims of OPR. Workflows should be flexible to enable reviewer anonymity where desired - for instance by making this optional for reviewers or maintaining anonymity until after reviews are completed (and then making the process open). Consider protecting anonymity of reviewers and authors until post-publication where possible. The existing platform OpenReviewHub ( provides an excellent basis from which to build OPR functionalities for the OPTIMA context. A new OPR platform will be created building upon OpenReviewHub (with extended functionalities for the OPTIMA context) using the modern Drupal 9 Open Source content management framework. Ensure compliance with GDPR and web accessibility issues. The platform should be flexible in the types of OPR models offered to allow communities to choose the workflows that best fit their disciplinary needs and readiness-levels. Define 3 model workflows with differing levels of openness (strong, medium, weak OPR). Assign conferences to one of these workflows to produce reusable data on the impact of various kinds of OPR. Foresee that individual conferences may wish tweaks to these workflows for their own circumstances; plan development time to accommodate reasonable requests. Create a dedicated engagement strategy. Create a dedicated research plan - how will data be collected, how will open science principles be followed, how will this research be communicated to inform the community?
Translated title of the contributionAnforderungen an eine Plattform für Open Peer Review
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 14 Jul 2021

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