Educational psychology in higher education


The peer-review system, commonly considered critical for research integrity and rigour, has been criticised for being slow, exclusionary and exploitive. Concerns include the high profits of academic publishers as well as the growing number of insecurely employed academic staff who report high levels of stress and burnout. The consequence has been a decline in willing reviewers, publication delays, and potential damage to the career trajectories of early career researchers and PhD candidates at institutions that rely on metrics of academic impact as measures of academic performance. Rather than overhaul the system and undermine current benefits, this critical review adopts an ecological lens to posit an approach that is humanistic, transparent, and above all things, kind. This approach frames an applied perspective on how to improve peer-review moving forward.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Peer-review has both challenges and benefits that need to be considered carefully.
  2. The ecology of peer-review is complex and multifaceted.
  3. The peer-review process should empower authors and reviewers, harness their strengths, and build a supportive framework.
  4. Person-centred, strength-based, and self-determination perspectives can be used in peer-review.
  5. There is a role for academics to improve the system and drive changes that are humanistic, transparent, and above all, kind.

Twitter Handle

@drkellyallen, @waterlego, @academicchatter, @ProfLucasWalsh, @ProfLeaWaters, @wehmeyer