Open Peer Review
Lead Pipe uses an open peer review model (as described in this article from 2012). Each article has at least one internal reviewer and at least one external reviewer. A Publishing Editor coordinates peer review to ensure that it is of adequate standard.
All draft articles must be submitted and reviewed using Google Docs. This allows peer reviewers to see and respond to each other’s comments and suggestions, and enables the Lead Pipe editorial board to ensure that external review has been thorough. We encourage discussion between reviewers as part of the peer review process. This provides more clarity for authors, and also allows reviewers and authors to spark off each other’s ideas. The Publishing Editor may also share drafts with other members of the editorial board in order to obtain their opinions and feedback.
The content of the reviewers’ feedback might include:
- copy edits
- consistency of voice
- soundness of arguments and content
- suggestions about related reading or ideas that could be considered
In our experience, the best peer reviewers ask helpful questions and identify specific, remediable weaknesses within the article. They also ask encouraging questions, such as: “This makes me think of (x idea). Have you considered including that viewpoint in your post?”
Our open peer review system is designed to ensure articles are well written and based on sound evidence; it is also designed to support authors in writing the best article they possibly can, whilst retaining their own voice.
Who is involved in publishing an article
Each Lead Pipe article has one or more authors, an external reviewer, an internal reviewer and a Publishing Editor.
The author does the hard work of actually writing the article. Articles may have multiple authors, but in this case one author must be designated as the primary point of contact for the Editorial Board. Authors are also responsible for identifying an external reviewer.
The external reviewer should have some professional connection to or knowledge of the article’s topic, and is expected to provide expert review and constructive feedback. The external reviewer does not necessarily have to be librarian. Authors may work with someone they already know or reach out to the professional community. As a rule of thumb, an external reviewer should not be a person with whom the author/s have a direct institutional affiliation; an advisor/advisee relationship; or a longstanding personal relationship. The Editorial Board is happy to offer guidance in identifying and contacting an appropriate reviewer if needed.
The internal reviewer is a member of the Editorial Board nominated by the board to review the article.
The Publishing Editor is a member of the Editorial Board assigned to edit, coordinate peer-review, and ensure publication of a particular article. They will often, but not always, also act as the internal reviewer. The Publishing Editor is also responsible for ensuring the article adheres to the Lead Pipe Style Guide.
Publication and Review Timeline
- At least twelve weeks before publication date: The Editorial Board will notify the author that their proposal has been accepted and assign a Publishing Editor and internal reviewer. The author should begin identifying an external editor, in consultation with the Publishing Editor.
- At least ten weeks before publication date: Submission of the first draft to the Publishing Editor, internal reviewer, and external reviewer via Google Docs.
- At least eight weeks before publication date: Reviewer feedback is due.
- At least six weeks before publication date: Submission of a revised draft to the Publishing Editor and peer reviewers. This draft should include full text-based equivalents (i.e. tables or lists, in addition to brief alt text) that make any infographics, charts, or other data visualizations perceptible for users of screen readers. The Publishing Editor and other members of the Editorial Board can help authors create these equivalents.
- At least four weeks before publication date: Reviewer feedback is due.
- Two weeks before publication: Article finalized according to any further recommendations from reviewers and Publishing Editor.
Note that these are minimum standards. Authors and reviewers are encouraged to work ahead of these deadlines.
If the peer reviewers (internal and external) are not satisfied that an article is of publishable quality after the revised draft is submitted, they may ask for further revisions before publication. If major edits are still needed within a week of your scheduled publication date, publication may be delayed. If there is any difference of opinion between peer reviewers, we will attempt to find consensus; however, the Publishing Editor has the final say on whether an article is ready to be published.
Please see the About Page for information on Open Access, Copyright, Licensing, and Article Processing Fees.