Skip to main content

Table 2 Study types

From: Designs of trials assessing interventions to improve the peer review process: a vignette-based survey

Study type  
RCT with randomization of manuscripts Each manuscript is randomized to be peer reviewed by a peer reviewer in the intervention group or a peer reviewer in the control group.
RCT with randomization of peer reviewers Peer reviewers are randomized to the intervention group or the control group.
Cluster RCT with randomization of journals Journals are randomized to the intervention group or the control group. All peer reviewers from a journal follow the same peer review process.
Interrupted time series analysis Data are collected at multiple time points before and after an intervention to detect whether the intervention had a significantly greater effect than any underlying secular trend.
• Period 1: Peer reviewers follow the usual process of peer review.
• Intervention: All peer reviewers follow the process of the intervention.
• Period 2: Manuscripts are evaluated after the peer review process.
Pairwise comparison Each manuscript is sent to be reviewed by both a peer reviewer from the intervention group AND a peer reviewer from the control group.
Stepped wedge cluster RCT with randomization of journals The intervention is rolled out sequentially to the journals over a number of time periods.
• During the first period, none of the journals follow the intervention.
• During the second period, one journal is randomized to invite its peer reviewers to participate in the intervention peer review process. The other journals continue the usual process.
• During the third period, an extra journal is randomized to participate in the intervention peer review process, and the other journals continue with the usual process. Therefore, two journals are undergoing the intervention during this period.
This process of randomization is repeated at each period until the last journal finally joins the intervention group.