The fading of status bias during the open peer review process

Zhuanlan SUN, Ka Lok PANG, Yiwei LI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

The growing number of preprints allows reviewers to identify the authors’ identities prior to the peer review process. Yet, it remains unclear whether the preprint exposure of prestigious authors to reviewers is correlated with review features. Here, we employed the linear regression model to examine this relationship. By collecting open peer review reports of 2,059 papers published in Nature Communications in 2019 within the fields of biological and health sciences, we found no obvious difference in review features when the identities of authors with different academic prestige are potentially exposed to reviewers. Specifically, no significant effect was observed on the number of questions raised and the sentiments of the review reports (positivity and subjectivity) in the first round of the peer review process. Moreover, we found no evidence that review features from anonymous reviewers were more positively or subjectively expressed than those with reviewers’ names publicly available. The results persisted even when assuming all papers were under single-blind peer review, which were validated by using the eLife data. This study indicates that papers with both prestigious and less well-known authors are treated equally during the open peer review process, which contributes to the ongoing discourse on the fairness of peer review within the scientific community.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101528
JournalJournal of Informetrics
Volume18
Issue number3
Early online date3 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Peer review
  • Preprints
  • Prestigious authors
  • Review reports

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