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Open Research at Aston: Open Peer Review

What is Open Peer Review?

Open Peer Review is the practice of making the academic review process transparent by disclosing the names of all reviewers to the authors. Some publishers also make the review and author's response publicly available too as part of open peer review.


The Peer Reviewers Openness (PRO) Initiative aims to change the the cultural behaviour of scholarly publishing by requiring authors and reviewers to agree to open peer review wherever possible in order to promote transparency and openness. 

Pros and Cons of Open Peer Review


  • Transparent review process
  • More constructive feedback
  • Conflict of interest is readily apparent, no hidden agendas


  • Increased quality of reviews has been debated 
  • Reviewers may decline to review articles
  • Potential bias based on gender, ethnicity, institutional affiliation

For further information on the advantages and disadvantages of open peer review, the following articles may be of interest:

Ross-Hellauer T, Deppe A, Schmidt B (2017) Survey on open peer review: Attitudes and experience amongst editors, authors and reviewers. PLoS ONE 12(12): e0189311.


Pöschl U (2012) Multi-stage open peer review: scientific evaluation integrating the strengths of traditional peer review with the virtues of transparency and self-regulation. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 6:33. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2012.00033


What happened when Elsevier tried open peer review? And which field says “no, thanks?”

Publishers who use Open Peer Review

Below are some publishers and specific journals who use Open Peer Review. This is an illustrative list rather than an exhaustive one.

Help & Advice

Please contact

Other external guidance - Peer Reviewers' Openness Initiative