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Pandemic publishing: Changes in journal peer review in times of the Covid-19 pandemic

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The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically impacted nearly all aspects of global society, including science. In particular, it has resulted in notable changes in dissemination and quality assurance practices. With publishers establishing fast-track channels prioritizing Covid-19 research, concerns arose about the validity and thoroughness of the peer review process and the published record alike. Working in an STS tradition of research evaluation and scholarly publishing studies, this talk will present the findings of two related studies: (i) a quantitative, bibliometric study demonstrating a strong acceleration of medical journals’ review process for Covid-19 related research; and (ii) an in-depth qualitative study using document analyses of open peer review reports and editorial decision letters to
demonstrate shifts in the quality criteria used to assess Covid-19 related manuscripts. Most notably, it indicates a shift from gatekeeping to quality improvement mechanisms and a tendency to reduce requests for additional experiments and data. Since several of the changes in scholarly publishing set in motion during the current crisis are expected to last also after the pandemic, understanding of its dynamics and content are of prime concern to both contemporary and future science and STS.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year20 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021
EventNordic STS conference 2021 - Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 20 May 202121 May 2021


ConferenceNordic STS conference 2021
LocationCopenhagen Business School
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