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Monday 02 August 2021

Peer Review Week 2021 explores the role of identity

Peer Review Week 2021 explores the role of identity in peer review through events and outreach

Over 35 organizations around the world are involved in this year's Peer Review Week, and there is still time to participate

2021 —  This year’s Peer Review Week (PRW), an annual event led by academic publishers, institutions, societies, and researchers, will be dedicated to the theme “Identity in Peer Review.” During the week of September 20 - 24, participating organizations will organize virtual events and activities to highlight the role of personal and social identity in peer review and ways the scholarly community can foster more diverse, equitable, and inclusive peer review practices.

The 2021 PRW theme, which is the first to be selected via an open global survey, comes at an apt time. Recent social justice movements in response to systemic inequities, many of which the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified, have caused individuals and organizations worldwide to take a more critical lens to the interplay between personal, professional, and cultural identity. Within academia, there has been increased emphasis on taking steps to ensure that the research literature reflects and amplifies diverse voices — and the ways in which we conduct peer review are essential to that.

“If the past year has taught us anything, I think it’s that recognizing the composite of identities that make up who we are as individuals, organizations, and populations, and the links between those identities, is essential to the future of scholarship and, ultimately, global progress. The pandemic has illuminated myriad deep-seated inequities that we need to address in all areas of society, with academia being no exception. And I think that starts with unpacking various aspects of personal and social identity and how we need to rethink the systems in which we operate to acknowledge and make space for diverse identities,” said Danielle Padula of Scholastica and PRW steering committee co-chair.

“Peer review is more than just a process. It is a teeming, thriving ecosystem that functions as a whole due to — and despite — the distinct roles played by each of the stakeholders involved in it. Peer Review Week 2021 is special. Not only are we celebrating peer review this year but we are also exploring how the distinct identities of the multiple stakeholders involved in it bring in added layers of diversity, expectations, perspectives, experience, knowledge, and skill. Awareness of how these distinct identities influence peer review will help us appreciate how the symbiotic scholarly publishing universe functions and adapts itself to changing demands. It will also help us build more inclusive and equitable peer review processes,” said Jayashree Rajagopalan of Cactus Communications and co-chair of the 2021 PRW steering committee.

We invite all scholarly and scientific societies, peer reviewers, researchers, editors, publishers, libraries, universities, funding bodies, and anyone interested in the advancement of high-quality research to join us during Peer Review Week for this celebration and learning experience. You can follow the latest announcements for Peer Review Week 2021 and share what your organization has planned using the hashtags: #PeerReviewWeek21 and #IdentityInPeerReview.

About Peer Review Week

Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining research quality. It brings together individuals, institutions, and organizations committed to sharing the central message that good peer review, whatever shape or form it might take, is critical to scholarly communications. We organize events, webinars, interviews, and social media activities.

Further Information

Please refer to the Peer Review Week website for information about the participating organizations and updates about PRW 2021.

If you would like to get involved, or are planning a PRW event or other celebration of your own, please contact Danielle Padula (dpadula@scholasticahq.com) or Jayashree Rajagopalan (jayashreer@cactusglobal.com), who are co-chairing this year’s PRW steering committee.

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