Peer Review Open (PRO) Initiative

John Curtin has signed the Peer Review Open (PRO) Initiative. He believes that the contribution of any manuscript is substantially reduced if open science practices are not followed. Adherence to these practices allows reviewers (and all scientists) to more carefully evaluate aspects of the research that are difficult or impossible to determine from the published report including issues related to the quality of the measures, data, and analyses. In addition, sharing of study materials, data, and analysis code represents an important scientific contribution in itself, above and beyond research findings reported in the manuscript. These practice are not difficult to follow today given the emergence of numerous resources to support this effort (e.g., Open Science Framework).

Please read and sign the initiative if you agree

The crux of the initiative is reproduced in this guideline for reviewers

If you are a reviewer, check the author note of any paper you have accepted to review. If the authors have not certified compliance with basic requirements set forth in the Initiative — or given a detailed, convincing account of why they cannot do so — then contact the action editor tell him or her that you would like the authors to certify that they meet the requirements:

I believe strongly in the value of openness and transparency. Please ask the authors on my behalf whether they can certify that they have met the standards of the Peer Reviewers’ Openness Initiative (

If the authors cannot meet the basic requirements outlined in the Initiative, your review is very easy:

I cannot recommend this paper for publication, as it does not meet the minimum quality requirements for an open scientific manuscript (see I would be happy to review a revision of the manuscript that corrects this critical oversight.

Do not outright decline to review a paper on the grounds that the paper does not meet the requirements of the Initiative. A minimal review, solely stating that the paper does not meet your minimum requirements for publication in the scientific literature, is much more valuable than declining to review because the authors will see your reasoning. Your responsibility as a peer-reviewer is quality control, and encouraging open data practices is part of that responsibility.

Finally, it is important to remember that the goal of the Initiative is to increase the quality of published research by creating the expectation of open research practices. It is therefore important not to use the Initiative in too legalistic a manner. We believe that researchers should be open with the products of their research in the vast majority of cases, particularly in the social and behavioral sciences; however, reasonable and clearly-explained exceptions can and should be made occasionally.