By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
To ‘Encourage More Researchers’A free course in peer review training has been placed online by Springer Nature’s Nature Research Masterclasses today (September 13).
Called “Focus on Peer Review,” the course comprises 63 videos, text posts, and interactive activities, all with an aim of providing “a comprehensive and practical overview of the peer review process, focusing on four areas: the role of a peer reviewer, how to prepare a peer review report, the ethics of peer review and innovations in peer review.”
Material provided to the news media about the program includes a prepared statement from Nature Geoscience senior editor Alicia Newton, who’s quoted, saying, “We truly appreciate the service that peer reviewers provide and recognize just how important they are to the scientific process.
“We wanted to do what we could to help make it easier for them,” she says, “and we know that there’s a great need from peer reviewers for training, especially those who are new to reviewing.
“Every week editorial teams across all of our journals spend thousands of hours co-ordinating the process of peer review, to ensure and improve the quality of the scientific literature and in doing so, advance discovery. Through this training we are able to share our experience as Nature Research journal editors in an interactive and engaging way. We hope that in doing so we can help those already doing this crucial work, and just as importantly, encourage more researchers to become peer reviewers.”
And in case you didn’t know this, there’s such a thing as Peer Review Week (September 11 to 17), described by Nature as “a global event celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality.”
Hazel Newton, head of Nature Research’s researcher services, is also quoted, saying, “‘Focus on Peer Review’ should provide an excellent foundation for aspiring reviewers or those looking to build on existing skills, and is an illustration of our growing range of services that can help scientists succeed in a research environment.
“Alongside Nature Masterclasses, which offers online and in-person training, Nature Research Academies, and Nature Research Editing Service all serve the needs of researchers, regardless of where they ultimately choose to publish.”
While the course is free, registration is required.
De Gruyter Launches ‘Science Discoveries’
Also during Peer Review Week, the Berlin-based De Gruyter has activated an international science news site that its material for the media says is “focused on research advancements in medicine, health, environment and technology. The site features selected research published in De Gruyter journals.”
This showcase for De Gruyter’s own content is called Science Discoveries and, at this writing, has articles including:
- What Happens to Pets After a Natural Disaster?
- Fatty Acid-Binding Protein in Children Related to Obesity
- Insect Silk-Biotech Approaches for Medical Applications
- Dust in Climbing Halls Linked to a Decline in Lung Function
In its material for the press, De Gruyter writes, “Publishing article highlights as well as multimedia content several times a week, Science Discoveries aims to showcase peer-reviewed scientific research in a context that helps scientific advancements reach a wider audience, not only academics and professionals, but also general science enthusiasts.”
In a prepared statement, Martin Ottmar, who directs publishing management and development, is quoted, saying, “Science Discoveries enables a much stronger exchange between our authors and their peers, showcasing our life sciences and medicine publications in times when visibility is paramount for research communities.”
The dual nature of some of this content–meaning it’s aimed at both industry people and the public–is exemplified by one of its videos called a “Health Literacy Motiongraphic” involving the European Health Literacy Survey with input from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain.