PEERE Conference 2020 – Invited speakers

Sara Schroter, Senior Researcher at BMJ, London and Honorary Assistant Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Talk: Researching peer review in biomedical journals: more collaborative cross-journal research is needed

Researching research in biomedical journals is an essential contribution to the quality, integrity, and safety of the evidence base on which all healthcare rests. However, after three decades of research into peer review Drummond Rennie, one of the founders of the International Congress on Peer Review and Scientific Publication, describes how “our reverence for peer review still often borders on mysticism”. Researching peer review is challenging not least as there is little consensus across journals on research priorities and no agreed definition of the purpose of peer review or what should be involved. Most research is currently done with a single journal or publisher. Every journal is different so results are hard to generalise. The BMJ has been conducting its own research for over 20 years. I will talk about the breadth of this research, some of our key studies and the challenges faced. Future research needs to be a more collaborative effort, involving a broad range of journals and publishers to capture the culture and practices of authors, editors and reviewers from different biomedical disciplines.