Peer Review Week 2020: Trust in Peer Review

Posted: September 22, 2020 9:00:00 AM CDT

This year, September 21-25, 2020 is Peer Review Week and this year, the theme is “Trust in Peer Review.” Before we talk about this year’s theme, let’s address the obvious: what do we mean when we say, “peer review?” Peer Review, as defined in Black’s Medical Dictionary, 43rd Edition:

The procedures used by journal editors, researchers and scientists to review the work, decisions and writings of their professional colleagues – peer groups. Reviewers of scientific papers are commonly called referees, and papers submitted to medical and scientific journals for publication are customarily reviewed by one or more experts in the subject(s) dealt with in the paper. The aim is to improve the quality of the study by pointing out potential pitfalls or errors to the author(s), or to assist medical-journal editors in deciding which papers to prioritise for publication. Evidence that peer review is effective is mixed. Applications for research grants are also usually subjected to peer review.

So, when we ask for Peer Reviewed articles, essentially, we’re asking for articles where the research has been checked by peers within the field of research on which the article is written.

What is Peer Review Week? Peer Review Week is a yearly event celebrating the role that peer review plays in quality checking publications. This year, Peer Review Week is focusing on “Trust in Peer Review,” to look at the peer review process and why it helps to build trust in research. The importance of reliable publications has rarely been as evident as now, with the COVID-19 pandemic. Trust in the peer review process is vital to solving global issues. Trust is gained through transparency: discoverable, accessible, and understandable information for anyone who is writing, reviewing, or reading peer-reviewed content.

More information on Peer Review Week and peer review information, including challenges and criticism:

Peer review. (2018). In H. Marcovitch (Ed.), Black's Medical Dictionary, 43rd edition (43rd ed.). A&C Black. Credo Reference: 



By: Alexa Hight, Scholarly Communication Librarian

Category: Today’s Special, Library Randomness