This year, Peer Review Week (PRW) explores the theme "Peer Review and the Future of Publishing." This timely focus allows us to ponder upon the advancements and challenges in the ever-evolving landscape of academic publishing. Before we offer our thoughts on the topic, we want to first express our deepest gratitude to all our reviewers. Your contributions are invaluable in upholding the standards and integrity of scientific research.

Rationale for the Theme

The theme for PRW in 2023 examines how technological advancements, open science initiatives, and ethical considerations are shaping the future of peer review in publishing. In an era where rapid dissemination of information is critical, it is important to contemplate how peer review can adapt while retaining quality and credibility. In line with this, EDP Sciences is actively engaged in dialogue and initiatives that balance the drive for innovation with the imperatives of scholarly quality and ethical rigour. We see the theme of PRW 2023 as aligned with our own ongoing efforts to contribute constructively to the evolving landscape of academic publishing.

Journals and Peer Community In (PCI)

Our collaboration with Peer Community In (PCI) has led to an enhanced, transparent approach to peer review across different disciplines. Three of our journals, Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, International Journal of Limnology, and Oilseeds and Fats, Crops and Lipids, have earned the designation of being "PCI-friendly". These journals feature a Peer Review Statement for articles previously recommended by PCI, and bi-directional links are made available on both the journal and PCI platforms to facilitate seamless navigation and accessibility. This approach aligns with our commitment to foster quality peer review and confidence in the publishing process and showcases our dedication to advancing the future of academic publishing.

Alignment with COPE's Position on AI

EDP Sciences has always prioritized adhering to ethical standards in publishing. Hence, we are in alignment with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) position regarding the application of Artificial Intelligence in authorship and the peer review process. We concur that while AI has the potential to enhance efficiency, the human element remains irreplaceable for ethical scrutiny and detailed evaluations.

Educating Tomorrow's Publishing Leaders

In our ongoing commitment to nurturing the next generation of publishing professionals, we've instituted several key educational initiatives with a focus not just on cultivating writing skills, but also on imparting the critical expertise needed for peer review—the cornerstone of ethical and rigorous publishing.

In collaboration with Astronomy & Astrophysics, we organise the Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers (SWYA) School. This educational seminar serves as an invaluable training ground. Not only does it help beginning PhD and postdoctoral students to understand the intricacies of scientific writing, but it also includes open discussion sessions where the concept and ethics of peer review are dissected and analysed. This offers the students a holistic understanding of their responsibilities beyond authorship.

EDP Sciences' Science Publishing Masterclasses share a similar ethos. Participants, primarily students and early career researchers, engage in hands-on activities facilitated by NESTOR, our dedicated online submission and peer review system. Participants leave equipped with the analytical tools needed to evaluate manuscripts effectively, thereby ensuring that they are well-prepared to contribute meaningfully to the scholarly publishing landscape and to their future in research and science.

Our journal Emergent Scientist takes this a step further. This student-focused, open-access journal invites young scientists to engage in the entire publishing cycle: from authorship to the crucial act of peer reviewing. Emergent Scientist serves as a unique laboratory where students can acquire, in real-world conditions, the analytical skills required to review manuscripts rigorously and constructively.

As part of our sustained efforts to engage with the future of publishing, we find resonance with the insights provided by the Young Minds Program. At a recent European Physical Journal (EPJ) Scientific Advisory Meeting, the Young Minds Action Committee were invited to discuss the vital role of early career researchers in shaping the future of scientific publishing. Their survey revealed nuanced perspectives on current publishing practices and proposed actionable solutions for involving younger scholars in decision-making processes. You can read more about this initiative and the survey here in the Europhysics News.

These initiatives underscore EDP Sciences' commitment to nurturing a new generation of publishing leaders who are not only proficient in scientific writing but are also skilled and ethical participants in the peer-review process.

Collaboration with STM Association on Research Integrity Initiatives

EDP Sciences is enthusiastic about its collaboration with the STM Association, particularly in contributing to the testing of their newly developed Research Integrity tool. This tool aims to tackle the pressing issue of paper mills, which has been well-documented in the STM-association's insightful report. Our Editorial team has been liaising directly with STM, and we were pleased to gain access to the tool at the end of this summer. This partnership underscores our shared commitment to upholding the highest standards of research integrity.

Open Science

Finally, we're pleased to announce the launch of our new Open Science page, a comprehensive resource designed to support and foster our open science practices. This platform demonstrates EDP Sciences' dedication to transparency, collaboration, and the free dissemination of research. It forms an integral part of our ongoing efforts to shape our vision on the future of academic publishing.

Concluding Remarks

France Citrini, Associate Publishing Director at EDP Sciences, comments, "Peer Review Week is an integral part of the academic calendar. It offers a platform to reflect upon and appreciate the symbiotic relationship between peer review and publishing. I extend my heartfelt thanks to all our peer reviewers for their indispensable role in this process." Peer Review Week 2023 provides a golden opportunity for the academic community to engage in meaningful discussions about the future of publishing, and EDP Sciences is thrilled to participate in these conversations.