The job of peer review is essential to the research process. While the process is rewarding, allowing you to learn about the latest research in your field while contributing your expertise to the wider research community, we know that it doesn’t come without some of its own shortcomings. Springer Nature strives to provide the most productive and positive experience for peer reviewers. We surveyed reviewers across our brands to learn about their feelings on the process of peer review at Springer Nature. Here is what we’ve learned as of the responses we received in 2019 so far.
Peer review practices can differ among disciplines, but we were happy to learn from over 26,000 reviewers that responded to our survey so far that 88% rate their overall satisfaction with the experience as excellent or good. In 2019 the average percentage of dissatisfied reviewers rating the experience as “below average” or poor was only 2.87%.
Some of the recurring complaints we hear from you are about time constraints due to work or life commitments that interfere with being able to deliver a review in the allotted time frame. In addition, the sheer amount of review requests received can be overwhelming, and receiving papers that are sometimes not of the best quality can be frustrating. We are also working on rectifying the lack of incentives surrounding review. We’ve recently unveiled some exciting new partnerships with ORCID and Publons to ensure that you’re properly recognized for the reviews you submit.
One of the most highly rated aspects of the review process was communication with the editorial office. The vast majority of reviewers who responded to the survey are satisfied. 85% rated the communication with the editorial office as excellent or good. We are happy to hear from the comments section that editorial staff was overwhelming friendly, accommodating, and considerate. The ease of using the reviewing platform also had a high satisfaction rate with 90% rating the ease of use of it as excellent or good.
The lowest rated aspect of the review process was the completeness of files submitted by authors. However, the responses to the question still received a high proportion of excellent and good ratings with 88%.
Time constraints were the main reasons reviewers noted as to why they would be less likely to review again. We understand time is of the essence when you’re a researcher, and while we can’t add hours to the day, we’ve compiled our best reviewer resources, which strive to make the review process more seamless and worthwhile.