Colin Phillips (University of Maryland) blogs about the peer review process for academic publishing. Despite the despairing title (“A grading method from hell”), his post makes a positive contribution to this debate as it reflects his experience with the Frontiers peer review model.
I’ve been both an author and a reviewer for Frontiers in Psychology/Language Sciences, and I really appreciated the speed and focus of the process. The detailed questions for reviewers really highlight what the review should be about; this is especially useful for relative newcomers like me. I also wonder whether the Frontiers model is helped by the fact that reviewers’ identities are revealed to the authors at the end of the process. This is an extra push for reviewers to be fast, helpful and courteous, and there is certainly more room for these qualities in peer review!