Skin in the Game: Personal Accountability and Journal Peer Review

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Two preregistered studies explored the likelihood paper reviewers would request clarification from authors regarding potential questionable research practices (QRPs). Study 1 participants were instructed to imagine reviewing a journal manuscript as either a coauthor or peer reviewer and rate the extent to which they would request clarification from the author when encountering potential QRPs. Participants reported greater likelihood of requesting clarification when assigned to the coauthor relative to the peer reviewer role. Study 2 participants were assigned to either an anonymous or open-review condition and rated the extent to which they would seek clarification from an author regarding potential QRPs. Men (but not women) in the open review condition reported greater likelihood of seeking clarification about potential QRPs than men in the blind review condition. Results provide tentative evidence that motivational factors influence the peer review process, and suggestions are made for improving peer review practices.

Publication Title

Journal of Empirical Research On Human Research Ethics

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