“Fragments of peer review: A quantitative analysis of the literature (1969-2015)” by Francisco Grimaldo, Ana Marusic and Flaminio Squazzoni has been published in PLoS ONE. A preliminary version of the article was presented in a PEERE workshop last year.
Here is the abstract. This paper examines research on peer review between 1969 and 2015 by looking at records indexed from the Scopus database. Although it is often argued that peer review has been poorly investigated, we found that the number of publications in this field doubled from 2005. A half of this work was indexed as research articles, a third as editorial notes and literature reviews and the rest were book chapters or letters. We identified the most prolific and influential scholars, the most cited publications and the most important journals in the field. Co-authorship network analysis showed that research on peer review is fragmented, with the largest group of co-authors including only 2.1% of the whole community. Co-citation network analysis indicated a fragmented structure also in terms of knowledge. This shows that despite its central role in research, peer review has been examined only through small-scale research projects. Our findings would suggest that there is need to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing across different research communities.
The article can be accessed OA here.