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Br J Psychiatry. 2000 Jan;176:47-51.

Open peer review: a randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychiatry, London.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Most scientific journals practise anonymous peer review. There is no evidence, however, that this is any better than an open system.

AIMS:

To evaluate the feasibility of an open peer review system.

METHOD:

Reviewers for the British Journal of Psychiatry were asked whether they would agree to have their name revealed to the authors whose papers they review; 408 manuscripts assigned to reviewers who agreed were randomised to signed or unsigned groups. We measured review quality, tone, recommendation for publication and time taken to complete each review.

RESULTS:

A total of 245 reviewers (76%) agreed to sign. Signed reviews were of higher quality, were more courteous and took longer to complete than unsigned reviews. Reviewers who signed were more likely to recommend publication.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study supports the feasibility of an open peer review system and identifies such a system's potential drawbacks.

PMID:
10789326
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.176.1.47
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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