There are many types of peer review methodologies, including open peer reviews and closed peer reviews.
In this article, we are going to discuss what a non-peer review is, and how it differs from some of the more commonly used peer review methods.
What is a non-peer review?
A non-peer review is exactly what you imagine – it is an article, paper or any other piece of work that requires no external review before it is published.
When publishing a non-peer review, it is possible for an author to write, proofread and publish an article all by themselves. Even if they do not proof or publish the content themselves, it will still be deemed as a non-peer reviewed publication as there is no external reviewer feedback before being published.
Who uses non-peer reviews?
Non-peer reviewed articles are published more often than you think; such as when somebody is publishing their own content for their blog, guest posting on a website, or even publishing a news story.
Why the difference between peer review and non-peer review?
There are different examples of non-peer reviewed publications. These include examples such as blogs, news stories and opinion pieces:
If you are a researcher that is publishing your own content – on a personal blog for example – it is possible that the content you are writing about has been covered many times previously.
If you are a reporter, you may be writing to strict deadlines to ensure timely publication of time-sensitive material.
Or if you are writing content that is an op-ed piece that doesn’t hypothesise or conclude an outcome, it is unlikely to require reviewing by peers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of non-peer reviews
When it comes to academic writing, we often associate it with peer-review. However, there is a time and place for when an author does and doesn’t require peer review.
One of the most obvious benefits of non-peer reviews is that it makes it possible for anybody to publish articles at their own leisure, which may improve communication by removing external pressures.
It also means that anybody can publish whatever content they wish and leave it up to others to be reviewed, or decide later if they want to have it reviewed.
Non-peer reviewed articles make it incredibly accessible for writers of all levels to publish their own work. However, this also brings about its own issues.
With no formal review process, it means that authors can publish misleading or bad-quality research.
This is an issue you might have previously come across in news reporting, when general news reporters publish articles about complex subject matters that they don’t understand or mis-interpret.
Should you use non-peer reviewed articles?
There is definitely a use-case for non-peer reviewed articles, especially when considering that anyone is free to point out any errors in what has been published.
When it comes to academic papers, it is best to ensure that any work you publish or reference as an author is peer-reviewed to ensure validity of your work. However, articles can be peer reviewed and still be erroneous and misleading.
It might seem that Alethes.net publishes non-peer review articles by Jose Maanmieli, but we constantly send them out for review, and seek more validation from academics than is often the case with traditional journals.