Policy ForumScientific Publishing

Promote scientific integrity via journal peer review data

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Science  21 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6348, pp. 256-257
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4141

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There is an increasing push by journals to ensure that data and products related to published papers are shared as part of a cultural move to promote transparency, reproducibility, and trust in the scientific literature. Yet few journals commit to evaluating their effectiveness in implementing reporting standards aimed at meeting those goals (1, 2). Similarly, though the vast majority of journals endorse peer review as an approach to ensure trust in the literature, few make their peer review data available to evaluate effectiveness toward achieving concrete measures of quality, including consistency and completeness in meeting reporting standards. Remedying these apparent disconnects is critical for closing the gap between guidance recommendations and actual reporting behavior. We see this as a collective action problem requiring leadership and investment by publishers, who can be incentivized through mechanisms that allow them to manage reputational risk and through continued innovation in journal assessment.