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Celebrate Peer Review Week and Support Trust in Scientific Research - September 19-23, 2022

September 16, 2022

Celebrate Peer Review Week

September 19-23, 2022, marks the Annual Peer Review Week. The theme for this year’s global event, which celebrates the important role of peer review in maintaining research quality, is “Research Integrity: Creating and Supporting Trust in Research” Some of our editors have weighed in on the question:

What Should Publishers Like ASPET Do to Enhance Credibility in Scientific Research?

 GreenwoodDr. Beverley Greenwood-Van Meerveld , Editor of The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics:

"This is a complex and multifaceted question for ASPET to address, but credibility is key to the success of the society journals. We all know the importance of credibility in scientific endeavors. In my opinion the “reproducibility” of science and maintaining highest levels of transparency and experimental rigor is of utmost importance. ASPET, working together with the journal editors, should provide updated guidelines to provide authors and reviewers with a “mandatory” checklist that must be included as part of the peer review process for all papers sent out for peer review. Furthermore, ASPET should provide funds to support the i-Thenticate plagiarism software to be conducted on all papers before being sent out for review rather than waiting until after the paper is invited for revisions. Ideas such as these could help JPET to enhance our credibility and publish only the highest quality research."


 MeierDr. Kathryn Meier, Editor of Molecular Pharmacology:

“It is important for publishers to establish solid guidelines for reproducibility, so that a common standard can apply to all their journals. It is the job of Associate Editors and Editors-in-Chief to make sure that these guidelines are met before manuscripts are accepted for publication. It is not reasonable to expect every reviewer to know the journal guidelines and to scrutinize papers at this level. A centralized consideration of reproducibility criteria within the journal(s) is much more effective.

Personally, I am proud of the efforts begun by my predecessor and then continued and expanded during my term as Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Pharmacology. We have utilized a team of three “statistics editors” who review all manuscripts not only for statistics, but for reproducibility issues. As a result, the Associate Editors have learned much about what to look for in this regard. More importantly, the statistics editors have taken on an educational role in suggesting alternative approaches to authors and informing them about current best practices. This has resulted in much greater consistency between published manuscripts. The statistics editors published a guidelines document that was adopted by ASPET for all their journals, after discussions between all the Editors. Criteria are bound to change over time, but when a journal applies consistent guidelines and works with the authors to make sure that they are met, we all benefit."


 JarvisDr. Michael Jarvis, Editor of Pharmacological Research & Perspectives and ASPET President:

“ASPET’s journals have a long history of requiring detailed Methods sections in its published original research articles.  Clarity in the communication of experimental design, choice of reagents, execution, and statistical analysis are essential components of reliable research reporting.  Further, replication of key experimental findings using multiple and diverse levels of pharmacological investigation is a valuable practice to establish reliability of effect size and confirmation of the physiological importance of experimental interventions.  Constructive peer-review feedback is the final critical element in ensuring accurate and reliable reporting of scientific research.  Additionally, critical peer-review often leads to new insights and questions for further research.  The editorial boards of ASPET’s journals are committed to providing authors with valuable input that strengthens the rigor of pharmacological research communications.”


 Ding_150x200Dr. Xinxin Ding, Editor of Drug Metabolism and Disposition:

“One of the main features that sets ASPET and many other society journals apart from others is our heavy reliance on, and ability to assign, editorial board members to perform peer reviews. For example, for DMD, more than 50% of the peer reviews were performed by editorial board members in recent years. Given the high standards we set for our editorial board members, this practice has a major impact on the credibility of our journals. To further enhance credibility in scientific research, we should not only further increase the utility of board members for peer reviewing, but also ensure that the board composition is up to date and board members receive up-to-date guidelines on journal expectations.”


 Daws150x200Dr. Lynette C. Daws, Editor of Pharmacological Reviews:

“As editor of Pharmacological Reviews, among the most critical parts of ensuring credibility in the articles we publish is to recruit well-respected and accomplished investigators to author reviews for our journal, to have those rigorously peer reviewed, and to ensure they pass the i-Thenticate standards for not reproducing previously published text (plagiarism).  Our journal also receives a good number of unsolicited review articles.  These are subjected to the same high standards.  The peer review process is especially important, as often times reviewers will identify areas that fall within the purview of the manuscript that have been missed by the authors, and/or offer constructive advice regarding ways to further increase the depth and critical evaluation of the literature being reviewed, and hence impact of the article.  For a journal that publishes only review articles, quality peer review and a scrutinizing eye by Associate Editors and the Editor is key to maintaining the credibility of scientific research reviewed in our journal.”

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