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Boon, bias or bane? The potential influence of reviewer recommendations on editorial decision-making

Issue: 45(1) February 2019. Editorial Pages 2 – 5

Jonathan P Tennant
Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE), Berlin, Germany; [email protected]

Bart Penders
Department of Health, Ethics & Society; Care and Public Health Research Institute (Caphri), Maastricht University, Maastricht; the Netherlands

Tony Ross-Hellauer
Know-Center GmbH, Graz, Austria

Ana Marušić
University of Split, School of Medicine, Split, Croatia

Flaminio Squazzoni
Department of Economics & Management, University of Brescia, Italy

Anson W. Mackay
Department of Geography, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Christopher R. Madan
School of Psychology; University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

David M. Shaw
Institute for Biomedical Ethics; University of Basel, Basel; Switzerland

Sabina Alam
Taylor and Francis Group, UK

Bahar Mehmani
STM Journals, Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Daniel Graziotin
Institute of Software Technology, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Duncan Nicholas
DN Journal Publishing Services, United Kingdom


No formal investigations have been conducted into the efficacy or potential influence of reviewer recommendations on editorial decisions, and the impact of this on the expectations and behaviour of authors, reviewers and journal editors. This article addresses key questions about this critical aspect of the peer review submission process. We suggest several future steps which could be taken towards improving the review process and make it more transparent, better understood, and fairer for all parties.


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