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Transparent peer review at Development

Posted by , on 1 August 2019

Publishing peer review reports

In the interests of promoting transparency around the editorial process, Development will now be publishing a ‘Peer review history’ file alongside published papers, where the author has opted-in to such a file being published. All research papers submitted on or after 1 August 2019 are eligible. The file can be found on the ‘Info & metrics’ tab on the article page, and will include decision letters, referee reports and author point-by-point responses, along with a timeline of the submission and revision process, and the name of the handling editor. Reviewer reports will be published under a CC-BY license.

Authors will be able to opt out of having their peer review history files published, but we hope that most authors will be happy to include these as part of the published record. Referees, by accepting to review a paper for Development, will be indicating their willingness to have their comments published, although we will maintain anonymity unless a referee chooses to reveal their identity. Confidential comments to the editor will remain confidential (although we encourage referees to use these only under exceptional circumstances and would prefer all information to be included in the report to the authors), as will comments made through the cross-referee commenting process.

We hope that these files will provide additional insights into the published paper, by way of commentary from experts in the field, as well as opening up the process of peer review to interested readers.

Please note that Development reserves the right not to publish a  ‘peer review history’ file relating to a paper in special cases, for example, if the tone or language used is inappropriate or defamatory or due to an ethical consideration.

For any queries or feedback about this policy, please contact the editorial office.


Development partners with Publons for peer reviewer recognition

Development is also pleased to announce a new partnership with Publons, part of the Web of Science Group (a Clarivate Analytics company). Publons gives reviewers formal recognition of their peer review contributions using the Reviewer Recognition Service.

Our partnership with Publons allows reviewers to easily track and verify every review by choosing to add the review to their Publons profile when completing the review submission form. Publons makes it simple for reviewers to showcase their peer review contributions in a format that can be included in job and funding applications (without breaking reviewer anonymity).  Reviews completed previously can also be added by forwarding review receipts (i.e. ‘Review received’ emails) to

We are genuinely grateful for the time and expertise volunteered by our reviewers each year. We regularly acknowledge their contributions and support by publishing a list of reviewers who have provided reports in the previous year.



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