Peer review is not a new topic. It is the evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work. It constitutes a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper’s suitability for publication. This interesting information came to us from Chemistry World in their article, “Chemistry journal introduces ‘intelligent crowd’ peer review.”

A new online platform aims to make peer review faster, unbiased and less of a burden on researchers. The chemistry journal Synlett, published by Thieme, has successfully trialed a new system of peer review that allows a crowd of 100 approved researchers to comment on manuscripts online.

Similar online approaches are becoming increasingly popular, but these can attract comments from any anonymous members of the public which can potentially be abusive or unconstructive. The Synlett team believes their system captures the best of both worlds.

Melody K. Smith

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