Changing the Culture of Peer Review for a More Inclusive and Equitable Psychological Science

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Peer review is a core component of scientific progression. Although peer review ideally improves research and promotes rigor, it also has consequences for what types of research are published and cited, and who wants to (and is able to) advance in research-focused careers. Despite peer review’s place as a core scientific practice, few reviewers receive training or oversight to ensure their feedback is helpful, professional, and culturally sensitive. Here, we critically examine the peer review system at multiple levels, from ideas to institutions, interactions, and individuals. We highlight initiatives that aim to change the normative negativity of peer review and provide authors with constructive, actionable feedback that is sensitive to diverse identities, methods, topics, and environments. We conclude with a call to action for how individuals, groups, and organizations can improve the culture of peer review. Changes in the peer review system must be made with an eye to diversity (increasing the range of identities and experiences constituting the field), equity (fair processes and outcomes across groups), and inclusion (experiences that promote belonging across groups). These changes can improve scientists’ experience of peer review, promote diverse perspectives and identities, and enhance the quality and impact of science.

Link to resource:

Type of resources: Reading

Education level(s): Graduate / Professional

Primary user(s): Researchers, journal editors

Subject area(s): Social Science

Language(s): English