The scholarly publishing enterprise is currently undergoing a “crisis,” likely exacerbated by the global pandemic, in which peer reviewers are increasingly less available to perform reviews at the same time the flow of submitted manuscripts has not subsided. This editorial considers possible reasons why scholars might decline to participate in the peer review process, including the lack of compensation for this time-consuming and effort-laden service activity; questions about the fairness, validity, and efficacy of peer review; a commonly experienced dearth of training in peer review skills; and the fact that a lack of diversity in the sciences, academia, and the professions is reflected in the makeup of scholarly publishing leadership such that peer review is not necessarily conducted by one’s “peers.” Potential considerations are also offered on the other side of the ledger. These include the benefits that accrue to our own scholarship and publishing acumen when we review the work of others; the value of peer review to the quality of our journals and the excellence of our field; the positive contributions that thoughtful and educative reviews can make to the work of our colleagues; recent initiatives designed to increase representativeness, reduce bias, and guard against conflicts of interest in the peer reviewing process; the availability of guides and tutorials to assist emerging scholars to develop the relevant skills and acumen; and the ways in which peer reviewing can set the stage for professional growth and entry into leadership positions in the field of scholarly publishing.
J Trauma Stress . 2021 Jan 13. doi: 10.1002/jts.22647