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SpotOn London: Conference to Peer into the Future of Peer Review

10th August 2016
By Katy Alexander

Spot On London

It’s with great pleasure we can announce that the annual conference, SpotOn London, will be taking place once again at the Wellcome Collection in London on Saturday 5th November 2016.

The one-day event, which marks its seventh year, will be hosted by BioMed Central, Digital Science and Wellcome.  SpotOn London is a dynamic, lively melting pot of scientists, science communicators, technologists, and those interested in science policy.

This year’s theme will be will focus on what peer review might look like in 2030. The conference will explore all angles of peer review, with the programme designed with the help of the research community.

Peer review has problems – SpotOn hopes to engage with the research community to find solutions. Our aim is to collaborate on practical, feasible options to improve peer review, but also to brainstorm radical ideas which might lead to significant advances in research communications. We hope to encourage like-minded individuals across science, communications, technology and policy, to engage in the conversation, and hopefully pick up some new skills along the way.

Discussions may include:

  • Can technology make peer review faster, easier, more transparent? Or will the rush to share data overshadow quality and confidence in scientific literature?
  • How might peer review be extended to research data, software and blog posts?
  • Will pre-print servers, post-publication article metrics, and research sharing platforms force a complete overhaul of the peer review process?
  • Will peer review continue to be the best defence against bad science, or will advances in AI mean that the not so distant future is entirely peer-less?

Save the date – and for more information or to get involved go to or follow @SpotOnLondon.

Use #SpotOn2016 for updates in advance and during the event.

Peering back to 2014’s SpotOn London, and to whet your appetite, there were some really great debates in the Open Peer Review session, including discussion of the possibility of new tools to help with the review process.

Check out the recorded stream of the session below as a taster for what to expect this year. (And listen for the Figshare shout out!)

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