Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - RMZ

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | RMZ | Research Activities | Disapeer: The reconfiguration of peers in editorial review

Disapeer: The reconfiguration of peers in editorial review

(09/2024 - 08/2028)

Principal Investigator: Felicitas Heßelmann


Journal peer review faces concerns of efficiency, reviewer shortages, as well as substantial concerns for the quality and transparency of the scientific literature. These concerns are closely connected with transformative editorial developments. First, publishers are increasingly deploying automation and artificial intelligence in the administration and screening of submissions, such as with reviewer selection tools or plagiarism scanners. Second, interdisciplinary research cooperation complexifies the identification of relevant experts. Third, the open science movement has brought about more open peer review, such as post-publication review or public review reports. DISAPEER investigates how these developments affect the configuration of reviewers in the editorial process: who is identified as a relevant reviewer and what are these reviewers expected to do? Peer review is clearly affected by automated reviewer suggestion, submission pre-processing through scanners, the challenges of interdisciplinarity or the economy of publishing, but the precise consequences are unclear and undergoing constant change. The project proposes to investigate the changes in peer review through content and social network analyses, ethnographic studies of editorial processes, and qualitative interviews with actors involved in reviewing. It fosters collaboration between pertinent experts at Humboldt University, and Radboud University Nijmegen.



Joint project with:

Willem Halfmann, Radboud University Nijmegen 
and Serge P.J.M. Horbach, Radboud University Nijmegen




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