May 312016
New Peer Review Survey – results now out

The Publishing Research Consortium has just released the results of a 2015 survey on peer review for which I did the analysis and report. From the press release: PRC Report Reveals: Broad Support for Peer Review, Desire for Improvements Increasing Peer review still broadly supported, continuing preference for conventional, pre-publication, single or double blind peer review [read more]

Sep 202013
Peer Review: An Introduction and Guide

The Publishing Research Consortium has just published my Peer Review: An Introduction and Guide. Here’s the blurb: Peer Review: An Introduction and Guide (by Mark Ware, published by the Publishing Research Consortium in September 2013) offers a readable overview of the processes used in peer review that assesses its strengths and limitations and looks at [read more]

Jun 152013
The Handbook of Journal Publishing

My review of The Handbook of Journal Publishing, Edited by Sally Morris, Ed Barnas, Douglas LaFrenier, Margaret Reich has just been published in Learned Publishing. Here’s a short extract: Sally Morris and her co-authors promise us “a thorough guide to the journal publishing process, from editing and production through marketing, sales, and fulfillment, with chapters [read more]

Mar 232013
Academic and Professional Publishing - book review

My review of Academic & Professional Publishing, edited by Robert Campbell, Ed Pentz and Ian Borthwick has now been published in Learned Publishing where it is (currently) freely available . I liked it, a lot: The fact that book publishing deadlines (especially multi-contributor works) sometimes means that the rapid pace of events can overtake some [read more]

Nov 042009

Mark Ware Consulting has been commissioned by Knowledge Exchange (, a partnership of JISC (UK), SURF (Netherlands), DEFF (Denmark) and DfG (Germany), to conduct a study into the feasibility of submission fees in open access journals (i.e. as distinct from publication fees). An open access business model based on submission charges could have real advantages [read more]

May 152009

We’ve been awarded a contract to develop a web-based toolkit to support key stakeholders (especially research funders, higher education institutions, libraries and publishers) to apply the common principles set out in an earlier RIN document, the Research and the Scholarly Communications Process: towards strategic goals for public policy. I’m working with Robin Beecroft of Searchlighter on this [read more]

Aug 292007

From their press release:A new initiative was announced today to bring together like minded scholarly societies, publishers, researchers and other professionals in an effort to safeguard the scientific and medical peer-review process and educate the public about the risks of proposed government interference with the scholarly communication process.(That is, to campaign against research funders such as the National Institutes of Health mandating the deposit of authors’ postprints in open access repositories.)The criticism from the open access blogging community has been deafening, at least for those who hang out in the echo chamber that is the blogosphere. Blog posts are too numerous to mention but here are a few: Open Access News, Information Research Weblog, Peter Murray-Rust, A Blog Around the Clock (includes links to yet more comment), and lots more.The criticism ranged from the detailed and forensic (Peter Suber’s OA New entry cited above) through heavy-handed satire (The PISD Coalition) to the downright ugly (“lying profitmongering scum”).The storm in blogoland was picked up by the quasi-mainstream press in the form of Salon (“Science publishers get even stupider”) and Wired (“Astroturf Spreads to Science Journals: Publishing Industry Forms Front Group to Cheat Public”), whose writers both weighed in with their own brands of polemic.It was left to the ever-reliable John Blossom on ContentBlogger to give the voice to the kinds of worries that many in the mainstream STM publishing industry might have about PRISM:The primary problem with PRISM is that it seems to be advocating on a range of issues which, while valid in their own right, are more about fear, uncertainty and doubt – those familiar sales tools – than the real issues at hand….

Aug 242007

But despite PLoS ONE having been surprisingly successful at attracting authors (given that authors have to pay $1250 publication charge for a journal with no impact factor and low peer review standards), it has been much less successful at getting users to comment on articles.PLoS ONE has therefore hired a well-known science blogger, Bora Zivkovic as Online Community Manager with the specific responsibility for drumming up comments…. It may be that the BMJ Rapid Responses were seen as simply an electronic version of an already existing (and popular) feature, the Letter to the Editor, whereas the Nature and PLoS One examples were wholly or partly attempts to develop new forms of peer review.

Aug 142007

These publications are the primary source of information for everyone involved in scientific research, allowing them to understand the current scientific models and consensus and making them aware of new ideas and new techniques that may influence the work they do…. When misinformation makes its way into the literature, it may not only influence career advancement and funding decisions; it can actually influence which experiments get done and how they are interpreted.

Aug 142007

Since I cover peer review from time to time (sometimes seriously, other times less so), I couldn’t resist this from BMC’s Matt Hodgkinson’s blog JournalogyA new way to find reviewers – the ouija board:Authors of manuscripts submitted to our journals can suggest potential peer reviewers.A recent submitting author took advantage of this to suggest…His former supervisorWait, it gets better….His dead former supervisorWait, wait, it gets even better…..His dead former supervisor, indicated with (deceased)Guys, who last had the ouija board?

Jun 222007

Extract:Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle.The cow jumped over the moon.The little dog laughed, to see such a sight.And the dish ran away with the spoon.The reviewers felt that not enough data was presented to support your claims…. In addition, several of the reviewers felt that the word ‘diddle’ was inappropriate, and should have been replaced by the more scientifically correct, ‘Hey fornicate fornicate.“ Because of these, and other problems, we are sorry to inform you that your manuscript has not been accepted for publication.

Jun 152007

As the open access movement blossoms, its supporters should continue to critically evaluate the parallel development of openness and transparency in the peer review process….while all manner of electronic journals are experimenting with reader input on published material, little is known about the scientific value of post-publication review in the modern era of open access publishingPeer review is a surprisingly active area for discussion and experimentation, given that has been the standard approach for about 400 years. For instance the American Medical Association runs an four-yearly International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication.Some example of new approaches to peer review: Nature’s open peer review trial: authors were invited to have their submitted manuscripts placed on an open website where anyone could review and comment on them.