Open peer review: a qualitative, interview-based study

Project description

Peer review is one of the pillars of science, and is relied upon by journals, funders, award committees and others. Its modern form has been introduced in the 18th century, and it is still practiced much in the same way to this day. Open Science is a new phenomenon, which emphasizes the need for transparency in scientific communication as one of its goals. Open Peer Review (OPR) has the potential to bring these two together, adding transparency to an opaque process.

To find out why researchers experience with open peer review we interviewed researchers who experienced open peer review as authors, reviewers or editors. Nine of the 11 interviewees were reached through the journal Economics, published by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Institut für Weltwirtschaft). Preliminary results show that researchers believe open reviewing reports, published online, improve the quality of peer review. The participants were ambivalent about reviewers revealing their identity. On one hand, they believed open identities contribute to the quality and tone of reviews. On the other hand, they were worried about possible retributions against less established referees reviewing well-known authors.


  • Kiel Institute for the World Economy
  • ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics


  • Prof. Isabella Peters, ZBW
  • Dr. Hadas Shema, ZBW
  • Ms. Sylvia Kuenne, IfW
  • Ms. Korinna Werner-Schwarz, IfW