Community Survey: The Value of Peer Review
American Society of Hematology
Market Research and Intelligence
Is peer review broken? We conducted a survey of the hematology community to find out.
The American Society of Hematology sought to better understand the attitudes and perceptions of its community with regard to peer review. This exploration was prompted, in part, by claims from various quarters of the scientific and scholarly community that peer review is “broken.” But these claims are typically opinions (or sales pitches) based on anecdote and generalization. And so when ASH approached us about conducting a broad survey gauging peer review attitudes and perspectives across the hematology community, we were enthusiastic.
What We Did
Working closely with ASH and the independent research firm ReadEx, we developed a survey and invited over 25,000 individuals to participate. We received responses back from 8%, or 1,944 researchers. Far from a “broken” system, we found that researchers overwhelmingly hold positive views regarding journal peer review and consider it an essential and helpful aspect of scientific communication. 80% of respondents agreed with the statement “Scientific communication is greatly helped by peer review.” 88% disagreed with the statement “Peer review is unnecessary.” Only 10% of respondents indicated dissatisfaction with the peer review process used by journals in their field.
After analyzing the survey results, we developed a report on findings. ASH’s leadership used these findings to inform their publication strategy and to reaffirm the ongoing value of their peer-reviewed journals to their community. ASH has generously agreed to make the report public, allowing other societies and interested parties to review the findings from this important document.