Peer review has been a formal part of scientific communication since the first scientific journals appeared more than 300 years ago. The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society is thought to be the first journal to formalize the peer review process. However, many academic journals are finding it harder and harder to find willing reviewers, so the concept of paying for peer review is back on the table. This interesting and popular topic came to us from The Scholarly Kitchen in their article, “What’s Wrong with Paying for Peer Review?

There are many arguments for and against paying for peer review. First off, how is a fee determined when the length and complexity of articles vary widly?

Then there are the ethical implications. Bringing money into a system built on trust and altruism could have negative results. Will the priorities shift? Motivation be monetized?

Academics who think they should receive compensation for reviewing often cite the perceived unfairness of performing free labor in service of a companies’ profits.

Where do you land on this debate?

Melody K. Smith

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