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Open Educational Resources Collective Publishing Workflow

Edit in Response to Peer Review 

Responding to Peer Review Feedback

Once you’ve received your reviews, you’ll need to incorporate reviewers’ feedback into your textbook. Authors can work through this themselves or with editors or project managers.

Peer review processes for open textbooks are usually less formal than for research books and journals. While it’s unlikely you’ll be asked to write a formal response to reviewers, you’ll still need to make decisions about which suggestions to take and leave. Creating a table documenting reviewers’ comments and your response (similar to what you would use when resubmitting to a journal) can help you and your publishing team keep track of any changes you need to make.


Qualities of a Useful Review

When deciding whether to action reviewers’ feedback, you’ll need to assess the usefulness of their reviews. A good review is:

  • accurate – answers the questions asked
  • comprehensive – contains complete replies to each question
  • constructive – frames positive and negative feedback in a respectful and helpful manner, explains why feedback was offered and describes how the work can be improved
  • concise – provides examples from the reviewed textbook that illustrate comments.

After Peer Review

Once you’ve completed your revisions, you can conclude your peer review process by:

  • communicating with reviewers about the project before and after publication, including when changes are being incorporated, during release and as the book is adopted. (Reviewers often become adopters and will likely be able to help promote your textbook through their networks.)
  • including a review statement in your textbook to signal quality and show appreciation for reviewers
  • recognising reviewers’ work in your internal communications
  • if you’re printing your textbook, consider sending physical copies to reviewers
  • sending reviewers a thank you card or personal email
  • offering to return the favour by reviewing your reviewers’ open textbooks.

Writing a Review Statement

Review statements are a great way to let potential adopters know your textbook has undergone peer review and is a high-quality resource. It’s also an opportunity to credit your reviewers.

Before you publish your textbook, you can add a review statement to the back matter describing your peer review process.

For example:

[Book title] was published by [organisation]. [Organisation] textbooks undergo peer review from [summarise peer review process, e.g. peer review from school/faculty subject experts and beta testing in classrooms].

This book has been peer reviewed by [number of] subject experts from [number of] higher education institutions. [Each chapter/the full-text/etc.] received a [single-blind/double-blind/open] review from [number of] reviewers, based on their area of expertise. The reviewers were largely [academics/professionals/institutional staff] with required specialist knowledge in [specify concepts, topics or fields in your discipline].

Reviews were structured around considerations of the intended audience of the textbook and examined the [criteria in review rubric, e.g. comprehensiveness, accuracy and relevance] of content. Reviews were also focused on [additional review criteria, e.g. longevity, clarity, consistency, organisation, grammatical errors, cultural relevance]. See the review guide [link to the review guide used for your project] for more details. Changes suggested by the reviewers covered mainly [specify areas here] and were incorporated by [describe how changes were made].

[List names of author(s), project manager(s), review coordinator(s)] and the team at [organisation] would like to thank the review team for the time, care and commitment they contributed to the project. We recognise that peer reviewing is a generous act of service on their part. This textbook would not be the robust, valuable resource that it is were it not for their feedback and input.

Reviewers included:

  • [list reviewers and affiliated institutions, unless review was anonymous].

Review statement templates:

Example review statement:


Attributions

Adapted from:

Peer Review Process Guide’ and ‘Review Statement Template’ in The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far) by Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wake Hyde, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.

Review an Open Textbook’ by BCcampus, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.

Assisting Academics with the Peer Review Process

Peer review is an important part of the quality control process for open textbooks. Sitting down with authors and working through the information in the 'For Authors' section of this step is a helpful strategy for ensuring everyone understands why and how peer review is being conducted, who is responsible for coordinating this process and what they should do with the resultant feedback.

Encourage authors to take an active role in selecting, recruiting and acknowledging peer reviewers – even if the library is coordinating the peer review process – and to record reviewers’ feedback along with their own responses and share this documentation with everyone on the authoring and publishing teams.

Planning for the Library's Contribution

Authors will require input from library staff at key points in the production process, across all stages of the workflow. Read through the guides in the workflow to see where library staff will need to work with authors on tasks such as copyright checking, peer review and publishing. Review the authors' time line and make a note of when you might expect to be called on to provide assistance.