APS News

Peer Review Week 2016: A Celebration of Scholarly Review

Promoting the widespread importance of peer review in science publishing and communications

September 19, 2016 | Rachel Gaal

In 2015, the first Peer Review Week event made a big splash among organizations and individuals in scholarly publishing. The global event sought to bring together institutions and scientists alike, who espouse the importance of peer review in maintaining quality scientific communications.

Following its initial success, a Peer Review Week 2016 is set for September 19 - 25. Hoping to make waves with participants once again, the event’s theme is “Recognition for Review,” promoting all players in the review process and distinguishing them for their contributions.

While APS is currently not an organizing committee member of Peer Review Week, the Society has a separate program — the Outstanding Referees Program — that recognizes scientists who are exceptionally helpful in the peer review process for the APS research journals. Based on quality, number, and timeliness of their reports, these referees are chosen regardless of membership in APS, citizenship, or field of research. In this year, 146 Outstanding Referees were selected.

“We started to formally recognize referees who have worked ‘above and beyond’ for our journals in 2008,” wrote Dan Kulp, Editorial Director of the APS journals, in an email. “As a lifetime award, referees are selected annually by our editors for this recognition. [This] is our effort to publicly recognize referees and [peer review] as a necessary part of advancing and disseminating physics.”

A full week of activities planned, the event will take place in cyberspace and at various locations across the globe — sessions in London, Ottawa, and Cary, North Carolina, can be attended in person. With numerous webinars, videos, and blog posts available online, anyone interested can participate no matter their location.

“One big change for Peer Review Week this year is that over 20 organizations are represented on the planning committee,” wrote Alice Meadows, chair of the Peer Review Week planning committee, in her initial announcement on The Scholarly Kitchen. “We would love to see more participation from other regions, books publishers, and non-publishing organizations that undertake peer review … if you care about peer review and the important role it plays in scholarly communication, come help us celebrate!”

Learn more about Peer Review Week 2016 and the schedule of events at their homepage.