The peer pre-review (PPR) program at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) is an experiment designed to solve problems in science, and science journalism, by improving scholarship before it becomes public, speeding scientific discovery and publication, and reducing substantial inefficiencies for individual researchers. PPR, which is available (for now) exclusively to IQSS faculty affiliates, attempts to provide the following two services for draft papers prior to them becoming public: (1) a detailed, constructive, anonymous peer review by a leading outside scholar incented to participate, with extremely fast turnaround (probably a few weeks), and (2) a full empirical replication by our internal team. While we experiment and refine the program, we are making this service available for now only to IQSS faculty affiliates, but ultimately hope to expand it to social scientists at other universities and research organizations.

Scholarly journal editors tell us that, with a package of papers, PPR reviews, and responses from the author, they will often speed up publication decisions and in some cases even skip the journal peer review process entirely. The papers they receive, and which authors make public on their websites, should also wind up being of higher quality to begin with.

A generous gift from Alexander and Diviya Magaro makes this program possible.