Accelerating Scholarly Communication through Journal Auditing

Branimir Bojic
Feb 28, 2020

In the past 200 years we have witnessed unprecedented progress in all aspects of human existence. The main driver behind this progress is the unrelenting force of science - from medicine to physics, from vaccines to the moon landing and quantum computing - the sky seems to be the limit of human imagination and ingenuity. However, even though the ideas seem to tackle things that would have been considered science fiction only a few years ago, the method of disseminating, fact checking and reproducing findings and information has remained surprisingly rigid and steadfast. Peer-review has remained pretty much untouched at its core as a process since the early 19th century with very little change in practical terms. The process is still the same, even though the means might have changed slightly. Peer-review is faster, more detailed, more thorough, but still requires vetting, casting reviews, deciding whether a paper gets published or not. And even though we have moved beyond paper print in most instances and use various peer-review platforms to help facilitate peer-review in a more timely fashion, it is not uncommon to see societies adopt the new online platforms, but never truly embrace them and unleash their potential to the max. Here we are faced with a paradox, where the ideas are much more progressive that the means of examining them, which hinders not only scholarly communication, but science and progress.

Science

Many publishing platforms recommended revolutions in terms of replacing peer-review with crowd review, open review or other methods which would fundamentally change the way we look at peer-review. While these have both many pros and cons, PLANet Systems Group looked at things from a historical perspective. With over 200 years of cumulative experience in scholarly communication, we recognized the need, not for a revolution, but for fine tuning. While the more drastic measures, which will change the way we look at science, are still in their nascent phases, there is still much room for improvement in the current format of peer-review.

Enter Journal Auditing Service – an expert system of interconnected professionals with many years of experience in scholarly communications and peer review, there to fine tune, optimize and supercharge your journal. Through an in-depth review of the journal processes, roles, tasks, review times, and dozens of other metrics, our auditors provide a thorough diagnostic of the journal's performance and find the weak spots and places for improvement.

Optimization

In our experience, many societies were not aware of the various improvements the peer-review platform they were using released in 2018 alone. All the major peer-review software providers release several excellent improvements every few months, but most of those features and tools remain unused. Our auditors are intimately familiar with every new release and can recommend the best features for a particular journal. Not all journals are created equal, and their needs vary wildly. This is why being able to recognize those needs is crucial for improving and optimizing the journal peer-review processes, and this is exactly where our auditors excel due to their deep involvement in the peer review process from a variety of perspectives – from publisher to author, every cog, once properly oiled and tuned, helps the machine run smoothly.