PA Editorial

PA EDitorial

PA EDitorial & Peer Review Week: The future of publishing

Here at PA EDitorial, we are looking forward to Peer Review Week.[1] The annual event celebrates the crucial role of peer review in scholarly publishing and research. It runs during the week of September 25-29.

The event brings together researchers, publishers, editors, and reviewers globally. It aims to raise awareness about the importance of peer review and to promote its best practices. The week’s main goal is to foster discussion, collaboration, and innovation in the peer review process.

Ultimately, it improves the quality and integrity of scientific and academic publications.

The scholarly community voted for this year’s theme via an open global poll. The most popular, by a small margin, was ‘Peer Review and The Future of Publishing’.

The Changing Landscape of Peer Review

Journal publishing faces many challenges due to the overwhelming number of publications being produced. According to some, every aspect of scholarly journals is in danger.[2]

Peer review, crucial to scientific research, is often scrutinised for its reliability, dependence, and usefulness. The costs of publishing and distributing through traditional channels are ever-increasing, while alternative solutions proposed have yet to prove satisfactory or adequate.

A further challenge comes from using AI in the peer review process. So, PA EDitorial is using Peer Review Week to consider the role of AI in the future of peer review and publishing.

The Pros and Cons of AI in Peer Review

AI tools offer several advantages in the peer review process. These tools can help identify potential conflicts of interest, screen submissions for plagiarism, and even suggest suitable reviewers based on their areas of expertise.[3]

AI algorithms can analyse manuscripts for inconsistencies, unclear language, and incomplete references, helping researchers improve the quality and readability of their work.

Moreover, AI tools can enhance the efficiency of the peer review process by reducing the time and effort required for tasks such as language editing and formatting. This can lead to faster publication timelines and greater accessibility to research findings.

However, using AI in peer review also poses significant challenges and risks.

One of the major concerns is the potential for AI-generated text to mislead reviewers and readers. AI algorithms may inadvertently introduce inaccuracies, biases, or false information into research manuscripts, casting doubt on the credibility and diligence of the researcher.

Additionally, the risk of text and idea plagiarism increases when relying only on AI tools, as these algorithms may not be able to distinguish between original ideas and those that have already been published.

While AI algorithms have been trained on vast amounts of data and can generate coherent responses, they may not possess the expertise or contextual understanding to comprehend the nuances of a particular research field.

The Indispensable Role of Humans

Although AI tools can assist with certain parts of the peer review process, the expertise and judgement of humans remain irreplaceable. Humans bring a level of subject matter knowledge, critical thinking, and contextual understanding. These are skills that AI algorithms lack.[4]

Humans can also identify important scientific insights. They can evaluate the quality of research methodologies and provide personalised feedback that goes beyond what an algorithm can offer.

We also play a crucial role in safeguarding research against plagiarism, both in terms of text and ideas. We can identify passages that closely resemble existing content and work with researchers to revise the manuscript to ensure its originality. Additionally, our detection of potential ‘idea’ plagiarism guarantees that the research presents innovation and authenticity.

AI also cannot provide the critical feedback that helps researchers refine their writing and necessary thinking skills. It can’t offer a fresh perspective. Nor can it provide constructive criticism and guidance. These two aspects of the peer review process can push researchers to think beyond their biases and assumptions, leading to new insights and discoveries.

Striking a Balance: The Human-AI Hybrid Approach

We may need to consider a human-AI hybrid approach in peer review to navigate the changing landscape effectively. Whether we agree or disagree with AI, the future of publishing is changing, and AI is unescapably part of this change.

So perhaps we need to reframe our sometimes unenthusiastic view of AI and see it as a complementary tool rather than a replacement for humans. For example, we could integrate AI into the peer review process responsibly to make sure it doesn’t perpetuate biases, introduce errors, or compromise the quality and reliability of scholarly literature.

Embracing AI insightfully rather than hesitantly allows us humans to continue to play a central role in the peer review process. In doing so, we can still provide critical feedback, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of research manuscripts and upholding the ethical standards of academic publishing.

After all, humans possess the expertise, subject knowledge, and contextual understanding required to evaluate the overall quality and relevance of research work.

Combining the strengths of AI tools with human knowledge can enhance the peer review process. It could lead to a more efficient, transparent, and rigorous research evaluation. Such collaborative efforts may even help researchers continue to produce high-quality, impactful publications while maintaining the integrity and credibility of the scholarly publishing ecosystem.

The Future of Peer Review and Publishing

As the future of peer review unfolds in the ever-evolving landscape of academic publishing, we need to embrace the potential benefits of AI. This is especially so when it seems its place in our profession is increasingly developing. By working together, AI and humans can contribute to a stronger, more robust peer review process, ultimately advancing scientific knowledge and scholarly communication.

Perhaps the next step in the future of publishing is to guarantee that clear guidelines accompany the integration of AI in peer review. After all, integration must come with transparency and accountability, ensuring the highest standards of research integrity.

Peer Review Week 2023: Getting Involved

Getting involved in Peer Review Week 2023 has several benefits for individuals and the scientific community. The event provides an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing conversation about peer review. By sharing experiences, insights, and ideas, researchers can help shape the future of peer review and make it more effective and efficient. It’s also a chance to voice concerns, propose improvements, and learn from others’ experiences.

The week allows researchers to showcase their knowledge in their respective fields. By participating in discussions, panels, or workshops, researchers can establish themselves as experts in their area of study and gain recognition from their peers. This can enhance their professional reputation and open up new collaborations and networking opportunities.

During the week, the research community also provides valuable insights into the peer review process itself. The community can share information about emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices. This knowledge can help researchers improve their reviewing skills and contribute more impactfully to the peer review process.

You can keep up with the latest Peer Review Week 2023 announcements and share your organisation’s plans using the hashtags: #PeerReviewWeek and #FutureofPublishing.

About PA EDitorial

Our team shares over 50 years of combined experience, providing a wealth of knowledge and know-how.

At PA Editorial, we specialise in peer review and editorial management. Our main focus is to support all journal contributors and their editorial boards throughout the peer review process. Moreover, we are known for our expertise in improving the administration of peer review. We also take pride in our ability to assist with problematic journals until they are returned to a healthy state.

Our team has expert knowledge in managing and assisting with the setup and configuration of ScholarOne, Editorial Manager, EJournalPress, OJS, EES, Evise, PXP, Asana, and Moodle.

PA EDitorial also offers copyediting, proofreading, academic and teaching material formatting, and journal social media services.

Learn more about PA EDitorial.


[1] Peer Review Week:


[3] Enago Academy:

[4] Enago Academy:

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