Post-publication of peer review

From The Embassy of Good Science

Post-publication of peer review

What is this about?

Post publication peer review (PPPR) is a type of peer review where, unlike in the traditional peer review system, the review is done after the manuscript has been published. In post publication peer review, anyone can participate in the assessment of an article and suggest changes for improvement.

Why is this important?

Pre-publication peer review is based on the editor’s choice of experts to whom the task of assessing a manuscript will be assigned. In post-publication peer review, the assessment is open to anyone. The exception to this is F1000, where post publication peer review is still by invitation, but still, anyone can comment and add their insights. Some argue that PPPR will help in the correction of literature and renew trust in science. [1] Others compare it to online comments, and argue that there is no guarantee that the persons commenting will have any expertise. [2] [3]

  1. Teixeira da Silva JA, Al-Khatib A, Dobránszki J. Fortifying the Corrective Nature of Post-publication Peer Review: Identifying Weaknesses, Use of Journal Clubs, and Rewarding Conscientious Behavior. Sci Eng Ethics. 2017;23(4):1213-26. doi: 10.1007/s11948-016-9854-2.
  2. Knoepfler P. Reviewing post-publication peer review. Trends Genet. 2015;31(5):221–23. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2015.03.006
  3. Macbeth FR. Post-publication review. A tale of woe. BMJ. 2010;341:c5147.

For whom is this important?

What are the best practices?

The most famous practice example of post publication peer review system is F1000, which is not a traditional journal, but more of an open science platform where published articles can be modified. New versions are uploaded online, with references to previous versions and changes. Moreover, the entire peer review process is transparent from the beginning to the end of the procedure. In that way, the manuscripts can be changed and adapted to include new insights. However, there are some critics who point out that it is a problem that previous versions of the article are still available online to anyone, even if they contain flawed reporting. Recent research has been discouraging for PPPR. It showed that online comments in PLOS and BMC journals decline in frequency and that existing comments rarely contain anything related to the content of the article.

In addition, PubPeer is considered as one of the major platforms designed for post-publication peer review and also conversations about publications. Users can leave comments with their ORCID username or anonymously.[1]

  1. PubPeer. 2020. Available at: https://pubpeer.com/

Other information

Virtues & Values
Good Practices & Misconduct