Peer Review

  • Comparing different types of peer review
  • Benefits and flaws
  • The process
  • Critical reading of a manuscript
  • The peer review debate: (not only) a quest for more transparency in the process
  • What does it take to be a referee?

Resouces and references

[Open] Peer Review

Bezuidenhout, Louise, Havemann, Jo, Kitchen, Stephanie, De Mutiis, Anna, & Owango, Joy. (2020). African Digital Research Repositories: Mapping the Landscape [preprint]. // dataset 

Fast, Elizabeth, et al. “Indigenous Knowledges and a Relational Peer Review Process.” International Review of Qualitative Research, vol. 9, no. 4, 2016, pp. 381–84. JSTOR, 

Foster, Antoinette, Hindle, Samantha, Murphy, Katrina M., & Saderi, Daniela. (2021). Open Reviewers Bias Reflection Guide. Zenodo.

Gasparyan AY, Gerasimov AN, Voronov AA, Kitas GD. Rewarding peer reviewers: maintaining the integrity of science communication. J Korean Med Sci. 2015;30(4):360-364. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2015.30.4.360

Gregory AT, Denniss AR (2019) Everything You Need to Know About Peer Review — The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, DOI: 10.1016/j.hlc.2019.05.171

Hodgkinson, M., Marincola, E., Aldirdiri, O., & Owango, J. (2020). State of Open Access in Africa and its Implication on Researchers. AfricArXiv. (audio/visual)

Horbach, S.P.J.M., Halffman, W. The ability of different peer review procedures to flag problematic publications. Scientometrics 118, 339–373 (2019). doi: 10.1007/s11192-018-2969-2

Horbach, S.P.J.M., Halffman, W. Journal Peer Review and Editorial Evaluation: Cautious Innovator or Sleepy Giant?. Minerva 58, 139–161 (2020). doi: 10.1007/s11024-019-09388-z 

Kennedy AB. Incentivizing Peer Review. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2017;10(4):5-7. Published 2017 Dec 4. // url:

Krummel M, Blish C, Kuhns M, Cadwell K, Oberst A, Goldrath A, Ansel KM, Chi H, O’Connell R, Wherry EJ, Pepper M; Future Immunology Consortium. Universal Principled Review: A Community-Driven Method to Improve Peer Review. Cell. 2019 Dec 12;179(7):1441-1445. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.11.029. PMID: 31835023.

Meadows A (2018). Eight Ways to Tackle Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review. The Scholarly Kitchen

Okune, Angela. (2019). Self-Review of Citational Practice. Zenodo. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3066861 

Owango, J., Obanda, J., Bourguet, D., Marinello, G., Saderi, D., Fornés, A. T., … Havemann, J. (2020). Rapid and Open Peer Review [Webinar]. AfricArXiv. doi: 10.21428/3b2160cd.dba872ac 

Owango, J., Munene, A., Ngugi, J., Havemann, J., Obanda, J., & Saderi, D. (2021). Best Practices and Innovative Approaches to Peer Review [incl. workshop recordings]. AfricArXiv. doi: 10.21428/3b2160cd.c3faf764 

Rajagopalan J (2018). Diverse views on diversity in peer review. Editage Insights

Ross-Hellauer T. What is open peer review? A systematic review [version 2; peer review: 4 approved]. F1000Research 2017, 6:588 (

Ross-Hellauer, T., Görögh, E. Guidelines for open peer review implementation. Res Integr Peer Rev 4, 4 (2019). 

Ross-Hellauer T, Deppe A, Schmidt B (2017) Survey on open peer review: Attitudes and experience amongst editors, authors and reviewers. PLoS ONE 12(12): e0189311. 

Ross-Hellauer, Tony. (2017). OpenAIRE2020 D7.4 – Novel Models for Open Peer Review. Zenodo. 

Schmidt B, Ross-Hellauer T, van Edig X and Moylan EC. Ten considerations for open peer review [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]. F1000Research 2018, 7:969 (

Sebola, M.P., 2018. Peer review, scholarship and editors of scientific publications: the death of scientific knowledge in Africa. KOERS — Bulletin for Christian Scholarship, 83(1).

Stiller-Reeve M (2018). How to write a thorough peer review. 

Superchi, C., González, J.A., Solà, I. et al. Tools used to assess the quality of peer review reports: a methodological systematic review. BMC Med Res Methodol 19, 48 (2019).

Squazzoni, F., Marusic, A., Seeber, M., Mehmani, B., Willis, M., Hurst, P., … Grimaldo, F. (2019, November 5). Data Sharing and Research on Peer Review: A Call to Action.

Tennant J (2020) Time to stop the exploitation of free academic labour. European Science Editing 46: e51839.

Tennant, J.P., Ross-Hellauer, T. The limitations to our understanding of peer review. Res Integr Peer Rev 5, 6 (2020). // preprint (2019)   

Tennant JP, Dugan JM, Graziotin D et al. A multi-disciplinary perspective on emergent and future innovations in peer review [version 3; peer review: 2 approved]. F1000Research 2017, 6:1151 (

Tokalić R. and Marušić A. (2018). A peer review card exchange game, European Science Editing 44(3). (A card game covering responsiveness, competence, impartiality, confidentiality, constructive criticism, responsibility)

Related blog posts

Promoting Open Peer Review and Preprint Adoption in Africa

Presentation held at the OASPA 2023 Conference during the panel Preprints: Supporting Open Peer Review and Global Preprint Adoption Trends. Aurelia Munene and Jo Havemann contributed with an African perspective to this year’s OASPA conference panel: Preprints: Supporting Open Peer Review and Global Preprint Adoption Trends. The slides are available […]

Publish Your Reviews

At AfricArXiv, we are proud supporters and endorsers of the ‘Publish Your Reviews’ campaign by ASAPbio.

Preprint servers gain prominence, a spotlight on AfricArXiv

Talking about preprints and AfricArXiv in particular, we are honored to be featured in University World News along with colleagues and institutional partners Joy Owango (TCC Africa-Training Centre in Communication), Stephanie Dawson (ScienceOpen), Mark Hahnel (Figshare), Catherine Ahearn (Knowledge Futur

Open Reviewers Africa (presentation)

Owango, Joy, Munene, Aurelia, Ngugi, Wangari Joyce, Obanda, Johanssen, Havemann, Johanna, Saderi, Daniela, & Korzec, Kornelia. (2021, December 9). Open Reviewers Africa – A workshop to empower the next generation of African Peer Reviewers. FORCE2021: Joining Forces to Advance the Future of Research Communications. Zenodo.

Open Reviewers Africa (poster)

Munene, Aurelia, Ngugi, Wangari Joyce, Owango, Joy, Obanda, Johanssen, Havemann, Johanna, Saderi, Daniela, & Korzec, Kornelia. (2021). Open Reviewers Africa. FORCE2021: Joining Forces to Advance the Future of Research Communications. Zenodo.

Community driven peer review for preprints

A couple of days ago on May 15th in Leipzig, Germany at the Mx Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA), Corina Logan had invited Denis Bourguet and Thomas Guillemaud from Peer Community In to give a seminar on their non-profit service to science: A researcher-run solution to improving science and […]

Ten Hot Topics around Scholarly Publishing

The changing world of scholarly communication and the emerging new wave of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly debated topics. […]

Don’t be afraid of writing a peer review

In his blog Green Tea and Velociraptors, Jon Tennant describes his approach to writing a peer review […] I remember the first time I got a review request in the second year of my PhD. An Editor emails you out of the blue, and asks you to provide your expert commentary on […]