BioMed Central launched a results-free review pilot on BMC Psychology in December. Results-free means that the results and discussion sections are initially omitted from the version of the manuscript sent through the peer review process.
According to Liz Bal, Associate Publisher for BioMed Central and SpringerOpen, the preliminary results have shown the process to be feasible and author uptake has been high.
“Our focus now is to optimize the technical workflow so that results-free review can be rolled out with minimal extra work to other journals at BMC, as part of a full randomized-controlled trial (RCT),” said Bal. “Our aim for the RCT is to provide definitive evidence of whether a relatively simple change to standard peer-review processes, easily enacted by journals, can reduce publication bias, and thus provide an evidence-based solution to the wider reproducibility crisis.”