Tools & Recommendations for Improving Peer Review in the Scientific Literature
Thursday, December 1, 2022
9:00 - 10:00 AM EST (15:00-16:00 CET)
PRIVAT: A tool for improving the peer-review of in vitro studies
Paul Whaley, PhD
Achieving consistent, thorough peer-review of in vitro studies in a way that provides transparent, actionable information for editorial decision-making is very challenging. To help with this, a new tool (PRIVAT) is being developed by the Evidence-Based Toxicology Collaboration. This presentation will discuss the unusually rigorous methods behind ensuring the tool is a genuine help to reviewers and editors, rather than just another questionnaire that complicates the peer-review process without obviously improving it. These methods include a systematic review of existing tools (yielding over 700 unique quality criteria) and a Delphi process that whittled the large number of criteria down into a meaningfully applicable set of questions and quality judgements. Prospects for uptake of the tool and the general challenges of improving publishing standards in toxicology, including ensuring data availability, will also be discussed.
Increasing reliability of science with open and dynamic methods in academic publications
Sofia Batista Leite, PhD
Clear reporting of scientific methods and protocols in academic publications is the basis for reproducible, reliable and progressive science. Open data has recently received a great deal of attention, but in reality, the usability of data is only ensured when the methods for generating it are clearly described. Making progress towards open, detailed and dynamic protocols in peer reviewed publications requires huge investment from all of the different agents in the publication system, from researchers to publishers, the institutions in which they work and the funders that support them. A concerted community effort by all of these different agents is needed in order to create a culture that embraces, supports and rewards good method reporting. With prior experience in the acceptance of methods and data for regulatory purposes, the European Commission Joint Research Centre convened a group of scientists and publishers to undertake the translation of discussion about making methods more clearly reported in life science publications into clear action points. In this presentation, I will talk about the main actions to be undertaken by the key actors in research institutions, funding bodies and publishers that can trigger and support the needed culture change. The work will soon be open for consultation. With this work, we expect to support more transparent, reliable and robust science, of a higher quality and more impact.
On the top of increasing the quality and impact of scientific research we believe that this can facilitate the acceptances of new methods in the regulatory field. This activity promotes clarity to build trust in non-guideline methods in support of the use of academic data for regulatory purposes.