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Supporting robust, rigorous, and reliable reviewing as the cornerstone of our profession: Introducing a competency framework for peer review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2020

Tine Köhler*
Department of Management and Marketing, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
M. Gloria González-Morales
Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
George C. Banks
University of North Carolina–Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Ernest H. O’Boyle
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Joseph A. Allen
University of Utah Health, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Ruchi Sinha
UniSA Business School, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Sang Eun Woo
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
Lisa M. V. Gulick
Bendelta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
*Corresponding author. Email:


Peer review is a critical component toward facilitating a robust science in industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology. Peer review exists beyond academic publishing in organizations, university departments, grant agencies, classrooms, and many more work contexts. Reviewers are responsible for judging the quality of research conducted and submitted for evaluation. Furthermore, they are responsible for treating authors and their work with respect, in a supportive and developmental manner. Given its central role in our profession, it is curious that we do not have formalized review guidelines or standards and that most of us never receive formal training in peer reviewing. To support this endeavor, we are proposing a competency framework for peer review. The purpose of the competency framework is to provide a definition of excellent peer reviewing and guidelines to reviewers for which types of behaviors will lead to good peer reviews. By defining these competencies, we create clarity around expectations for peer review, standards for good peer reviews, and opportunities for training the behaviors required to deliver good peer reviews. We further discuss how the competency framework can be used to improve peer reviewing and suggest additional steps forward that involve suggestions for how stakeholders can get involved in fostering high-quality peer reviewing.

Focal Article
© Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. 2020

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The authors of this article are members of the Rigorous, Robust, and Reliable Reviewing Subcommittee of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s (SIOP) Education and Training committee. The subcommittee was charged with creating resources to provide reviewer training and improve reviewing quality in the industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology community. As part of this task, the subcommittee created a competency framework for peer review that we are sharing in this focal article. All subsequent efforts to create and share resources are guided by this competency framework. An earlier version of the competency framework was shared with SIOP’s Executive Board, various SIOP committees, and the SIOP membership at the annual conference in April 2018. Furthermore, this earlier version of the competency framework formed the basis of a reviewer training bootcamp session held in collaboration with the Consortium for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis (CARMA) in August 2018. The intention of this focal article is to introduce the competency framework to the larger I-O psychology community to elicit feedback and commentary from its diverse body of members. We hope that the feedback and commentary will help us refine and expand upon the competency framework and suggest various ways in which it can be employed to improve our science and practice. This feedback will be reported back to SIOP’s Executive Board and will hopefully also assist us in creating relevant resources for reviewer training.


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