Dr Irene Hames

Speech at  the conference Lithuanian Journals Meeting the Needs of Digital Scholarly Communication   on October 25th  in  Vilnius, Lithuania


Peer Review in a Changing and Challenging Scholarly Publication World   PDF        and       VIDEO

Scholarly publishing is changing rapidly and bringing many challenges to journals and journal editors. Peer review, considered by many to be the cornerstone of research publication, is also facing challenges, and a number of serious failures over recent years have brought concerns and criticisms about its efficacy.

It is clear that researchers are under increasing pressure – to publish, get grants and find jobs – and the reported levels of research misconduct and questionable research practices are worrying. As many problems with research integrity do not come to light until work is submitted for publication or published, journals are facing not just more problem cases, but new and more complex ones. As a consequence, editorial workloads are increasing, stretching resources.

What problems are editors facing and what can be done to address these issues? It is also, however, an exciting time, with new models of peer review being introduced and new players entering the field.

How are journals and editors having to adapt to be part of this new world?



Irene Hames

Dr Irene Hames

ORCID   http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3806-8786       LinkedIn       Twitter:  @irenehames

After gaining a PhD in Cell Biology, Irene moved into scientific publishing and spent over 30 years working on scholarly journals and books, including 20 years as the managing editor of a large, international science journal. She now works as an independent consultant to the publishing, higher education and research sectors, specialising in peer review, research integrity and publication ethics.

She is the author of the book  Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals, and in 2011 was the specialist advisor to the UK Parliament House of Commons Science and Technology Committee for its inquiry into peer review and the resulting report, Peer Review in Scientific Publications.

Irene was a Council Member, Director and Trustee of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) 2010-13 and currently holds advisory roles with Sense About Science, the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (of which she was a founding Board member) and Axios Review.

In 2011 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and now sits on the Society’s Research Dissemination Committee. She is also on the Editorial Board of Learned Publishing.