Providing transparency and building trust: the Peer Review Information Service for Monographs (PRISM) 

In the summer of 2021, DOAB started a new service in beta phase: PRISM (Peer Review Information Service for Monographs). PRISM’s goal is to provide transparency about the peer review process that applies to the books in DOAB. Services such as PRISM can support research integrity and help build trust in open access academic book publishing. 

From beta to launch 

DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books) is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers. PRISM, provided by the DOAB Foundation as part of the OPERAS Service Catalogue, was tested in 2021. Several open access academic book publishers participated in the testing phase. We are very grateful for their feedback, which resulted in fine-tuning of the service, and preparing the aimed launch of PRISM in the last quarter of 2022. 

How does PRISM serve our different stakeholders (publishers, libraries, funders, and researchers)? 

PRISM is a standardised way for academic publishers to display information on DOAB about their peer review processes across their entire catalogue. At the publisher level, all their peer review processes are visible (as they may have more than one process in use across all their series and titles). At the level of an individual publication, the peer review process applied to that work is displayed. 

  • If you’re a publisher, PRISM helps you display the peer review process that has been applied to works in your collection. This helps you showcase how you apply best practices in peer review.  
  • If you’re a librarian, PRISM allows you to see the quality control process that applies to a given work. This will give you confidence in recommending the work as a reliable source to your researchers and students.  
  • If you’re a funder, PRISM gives you fuller information about the research outputs you’ve funded.
  • If you’re a researcher or a general reader, PRISM allows you to see the quality control process that applies to a given work. This will give you more information about the publisher. 

How to participate in PRISM 

Currently, we are preparing the launch of PRISM. This launch will be phased, where we will gradually invite publishers of open access academic books to join us. Stay tuned for more details.  

In anticipation of the launch, publishers can prepare by gathering information about their peer review process(es), as this information will needed to create a PRISM record: 

  • The title for the peer review (in order to differentiate between peer reviews) 
  • Is the document peer reviewed? Yes/No  
  • What is being reviewed? Proposal/Full text/Section  
  • What is the level of openness/anonymity between author(s) and reviewer(s)? Double-anonymised/Single-anonymised/All identities known
  • Who conducts the review? Internal editor/Editorial board member/External peer reviewer/Crowd or open review  
  • At what stage is the peer review being conducted? Pre-publication/Post-publication 
  • Are the review comments published? Yes/No  
  • Who takes the decision to publish? Publisher/Books or series editor/Scientific or Editorial Board 

Keep up-to-date with the development of the PRISM service by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Twitter: @DOABooks (and look out for #DOABPRISM!). 

By Laura J. Wilkinson, Tom Mosterd and Lotte Kruijt


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