Peer Review – Even Patients Can Participate

From ScienceInsider comes word of a journal looking to involve patients in all parts of the research and publication process, including peer review.  Research Involvement and Engagement, which aims to start publication next year, is an open access health journal that wants to involve key stakeholders – not just patients – in the production of the journal.

The peer review process, as described on the journal’s website, doesn’t clue in a neophyte like me, how patients would be involved.  The relevant section reads as follows:

“Research Involvement and Engagement operates an ‘open peer review’ policy meaning reviewers are asked to sign their reviews. The pre-publication history including all submitted versions, reviewers’ reports and authors’ responses will be linked to from the published article.”

Per the ScienceInsider article, which includes interviews with the editors-in-chief, the plan is for this peer review to include at least one academic and one patient for each article.  The patients selected would have lay expertise in the relevant subject areas (reflecting their own medical experiences).  Research Involvement and Engagement would not be the first journal to include patient peer review.  The BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal) started using patients in its peer review process last year.  Perhaps Research Involvement and Engagement won’t be the last journal do to the same.

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