Peer Review History

Original SubmissionMarch 28, 2021
Decision Letter - Florian Naudet, Editor

PONE-D-21-10048

How faculty define quality, prestige, and impact in research

PLOS ONE

Dear Dr. Alperin,

Thank you for submitting your manuscript to PLOS ONE. After careful consideration, we feel that it has merit but does not fully meet PLOS ONE’s publication criteria as it currently stands. Therefore, we invite you to submit a revised version of the manuscript that addresses the points raised during the review process.

First of all, I would like to thank the two reviewers. They were fast and provided very insightful comments. One suggested to accept the manuscript and the second one suggested major revisions. In my opinion, the major revisions are doable and I will be very pleased to assess this manuscript after your careful revisions (based on the 2 reviewers' comments). Some additional comments : 

- In order to facilitate my assessment, please follow a reporting guideline (and please add a form of checklist). I suggest SRQR (https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/srqr/) but I may be wrong so feel free to use any other guideline if you think that it fits better with your research. Thank you in advance. 

- Please also make it explicit in the method section if there was a pre-specified protocol for this very specific research question (the one presented in this paper) and it if it was registered (and where). Please attach the protocol in a supplementary file. If there was no protocol, nor registration, please make it explicit and justify. 

- Please add a few words in the text and abstract about the main limitations, to avoid any spin. 

Please submit your revised manuscript by Jun 29 2021 11:59PM. If you will need more time than this to complete your revisions, please reply to this message or contact the journal office at plosone@plos.org. When you're ready to submit your revision, log on to https://www.editorialmanager.com/pone/ and select the 'Submissions Needing Revision' folder to locate your manuscript file.

Please include the following items when submitting your revised manuscript:

  • A rebuttal letter that responds to each point raised by the academic editor and reviewer(s). You should upload this letter as a separate file labeled 'Response to Reviewers'.
  • A marked-up copy of your manuscript that highlights changes made to the original version. You should upload this as a separate file labeled 'Revised Manuscript with Track Changes'.
  • An unmarked version of your revised paper without tracked changes. You should upload this as a separate file labeled 'Manuscript'.

If you would like to make changes to your financial disclosure, please include your updated statement in your cover letter. Guidelines for resubmitting your figure files are available below the reviewer comments at the end of this letter.

If applicable, we recommend that you deposit your laboratory protocols in protocols.io to enhance the reproducibility of your results. Protocols.io assigns your protocol its own identifier (DOI) so that it can be cited independently in the future. For instructions see: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/submission-guidelines#loc-laboratory-protocols. Additionally, PLOS ONE offers an option for publishing peer-reviewed Lab Protocol articles, which describe protocols hosted on protocols.io. Read more information on sharing protocols at https://plos.org/protocols?utm_medium=editorial-email&utm_source=authorletters&utm_campaign=protocols.

We look forward to receiving your revised manuscript.

Kind regards,

Florian Naudet, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Journal Requirements:

When submitting your revision, we need you to address these additional requirements.

1. Please ensure that your manuscript meets PLOS ONE's style requirements, including those for file naming. The PLOS ONE style templates can be found at

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/file?id=wjVg/PLOSOne_formatting_sample_main_body.pdf and

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/file?id=ba62/PLOSOne_formatting_sample_title_authors_affiliations.pdf

2. If materials, methods, and protocols are well established, authors may cite articles where those protocols are described in detail, but the submission should include sufficient information to be understood independent of these references (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/submission-guidelines#loc-materials-and-methods).

[Note: HTML markup is below. Please do not edit.]

Reviewers' comments:

Reviewer's Responses to Questions

Comments to the Author

1. Is the manuscript technically sound, and do the data support the conclusions?

The manuscript must describe a technically sound piece of scientific research with data that supports the conclusions. Experiments must have been conducted rigorously, with appropriate controls, replication, and sample sizes. The conclusions must be drawn appropriately based on the data presented.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

2. Has the statistical analysis been performed appropriately and rigorously?

Reviewer #1: N/A

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

3. Have the authors made all data underlying the findings in their manuscript fully available?

The PLOS Data policy requires authors to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction, with rare exception (please refer to the Data Availability Statement in the manuscript PDF file). The data should be provided as part of the manuscript or its supporting information, or deposited to a public repository. For example, in addition to summary statistics, the data points behind means, medians and variance measures should be available. If there are restrictions on publicly sharing data—e.g. participant privacy or use of data from a third party—those must be specified.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

4. Is the manuscript presented in an intelligible fashion and written in standard English?

PLOS ONE does not copyedit accepted manuscripts, so the language in submitted articles must be clear, correct, and unambiguous. Any typographical or grammatical errors should be corrected at revision, so please note any specific errors here.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

5. Review Comments to the Author

Please use the space provided to explain your answers to the questions above. You may also include additional comments for the author, including concerns about dual publication, research ethics, or publication ethics. (Please upload your review as an attachment if it exceeds 20,000 characters)

Reviewer #1: Review of PONE-D-21-10048

This manuscript reports on the answers to an open survey question about how faculty of universities in the USA and Canada would define quality, prestige and impact of academic journals. The article is interesting and well-written but a number of major and minor concerns should be adequately responded to with a view to optimize clarity and relevance of the manuscript.

Major concerns

� It’s not very clear what quality, prestige and impact refer to: research (as in the title), journals (as asked in the survey), to the publication oeuvre of an individual researcher (as one would expect given the focus on review, promotion, and tenure (RPT) processes), or to all of these categories combined (which would be strange and confusing). Please clarify and apply the choice consistently throughout the manuscript.

� I agree that having a clear definition or description of core concepts used in the assessment of research and researchers is a necessary starting point but please also discuss the following.

o The meta-question whether quality, prestige and impact are the main concepts we need to look at. You allude to this a bit in the Introduction section but remain silent in the Discussion section and the Abstract.

o The practical question how quality, prestige and impact can be operationalized. This seems to be the main focus of your respondents (and less so the conceptual definitions).

� Maybe also mention (in the Discussion section) the best practices presented by DORA on their website and the recently introduced Hong Kong principles:

Moher D, Bouter L, Kleinert S, Glasziou P, Sham MH, Barbour V, Coriat AM, Foeger N, Dirnagl U. The Hong Kong principles for assessing researchers: fostering research integrity. PLoS Biology 2020; 18: e3000737. (https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000737) (translated in Chinese, German, Portuguese)

� I’m frankly puzzled that both the documents you analysed earlier and the faculty you surveyed don’t focus much more on the H-index. Although this measure – which is frequently used in researcher assessments in Europe – is also deeply flawed it’s clearly superior to the JIF for assessing researchers for two reasons: 1) the H-index concerns the whole publication oeuvre of an individual, and 2) the H-index is based on the actual citations to the articles the researcher at issue published. Please comment on this in the Discussion section.

� It’s not so clear to me why you would expect differences between subgroups defined by demographic characteristic and why that would be interesting or relevant to know.

� It’s also not clear why you would expect a high correlation between the views of faculty and the policy documents in their university. On a slightly cynical note: who is reading these documents? My guess is hardly anyone.

� The manuscript is much longer than necessary and should be shortened substantially by e.g.

o Removing lines 16-30 on page 5 and lines 1-21 on page 6. This lengthy description of earlier work doesn’t belong in the Methods section (or elsewhere in the article) and can be replaced by one or two sentences that only explain what’s really of direct importance to understand the methods of what is reported in this manuscript.

o Figures 1-3 have little informative value and can easily be removed when the percentages reported are transferred to tables 1-3.

o Table 4 and 5 can better be moved to the digital supplements as their message (‘no significant differences between subgroups’) is already well described in two lines in the text.

Minor concerns

� What was the response of the survey? It’s unclear how many invitations were sent. And how many participants answered the open question on which this manuscript is based? Respondents often skip open questions. Please produce a flow chart.

� Was your survey pre-registered? Please clarify and add the pertaining link if you did.

� Please keep the order of quality, prestige and impact uniform throughout the text and also order tables 1, 2 and 3 likewise.

� In table 1 you say ‘definitions of High Quality’ in the title but talk about ‘definitions of High Impact in the note directly below the table. That last formulation seems to be wrong.

� It’s not clear what the different colours in table 4 and 5 indicate.

I sign my reviews:

Lex Bouter, Amsterdam University Medical Centers and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Reviewer #2: The research shows that absolute general definitions of quality, impact and prestige which may be used to compare researchers and research within disciplines and cross academia may be difficult if not impossible to define. It is also because of this that in academia we started to use 'objective' indicators and metrics which have been shown however to be poor proxies for quality and excellence. In the attempt to go beyond these flawed metrics there are now many initiatives to design meaningful ways to evaluate research. Based on their observation in this paper, the authors feel that is problematic since quality, excellence and prestige are ill-defined and researchers have many different views of it and most times rely on the flawed classical metrics, i.e. papers and where they are published and cited.

I would suggest to the authors to include a discussion of those initiatives that really are trying to deal with this problem. In the introduction they cite several of the papers that discuss this, f.i . Aksnes et al 2019, Hicks et al 2015 which is The leiden manifesto and Moher et al 2018.

Instead of looking for the impossible, i.e. absolute, timeless measures for quality and prestige, these initiatives start with the conclusion that quality, excellence and prestige are context dependent. Research quality, its products and evaluation are highly context dependent which makes direct comparisons of historians, philosophers and chemists and even researchers within for instance the domain of biomedical and health research, irrelevant. It is about 'rigor, plausibility, originality, societal value' (Asknes 2019) but in a given research setting, with a strategy, aim, specific goals, a process (f. i .Open Science practices) and if applicable actions in the corresponding societal context (Nowotny et al, Rethinking Science, 2001).

To say that research is Excellent or Good requires from peers/reviewers, a narrative, a motivation of judgement of strengths and weakenesses based on reading and understanding of the content of the work.

This is the approach taken in the recently adopted National Strategic Evaluation Protocol (SEP) in The Netherlands

https: //www.vsnu.nl/files/documenten/Domeinen/Onderzoek/SEP_2021-2027.pdf

**********

6. PLOS authors have the option to publish the peer review history of their article (what does this mean?). If published, this will include your full peer review and any attached files.

If you choose “no”, your identity will remain anonymous but your review may still be made public.

Do you want your identity to be public for this peer review? For information about this choice, including consent withdrawal, please see our Privacy Policy.

Reviewer #1: Yes: Lex Bouter, Amsterdam University Medical Centers and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Reviewer #2: Yes: Frank Miedema

[NOTE: If reviewer comments were submitted as an attachment file, they will be attached to this email and accessible via the submission site. Please log into your account, locate the manuscript record, and check for the action link "View Attachments". If this link does not appear, there are no attachment files.]

While revising your submission, please upload your figure files to the Preflight Analysis and Conversion Engine (PACE) digital diagnostic tool, https://pacev2.apexcovantage.com/. PACE helps ensure that figures meet PLOS requirements. To use PACE, you must first register as a user. Registration is free. Then, login and navigate to the UPLOAD tab, where you will find detailed instructions on how to use the tool. If you encounter any issues or have any questions when using PACE, please email PLOS at figures@plos.org. Please note that Supporting Information files do not need this step.

Revision 1

Dear Editor and Reviewers,

Thank you and the two reviewers for the helpful feedback on our manuscript “How faculty define quality, prestige, and impact in research”. We are pleased to resubmit our manuscript with the requested revisions. Attached you will find the reviewers’ feedback (in gray) interspersed with a description of how we addressed each of the points raised (in black).

We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the reviewers for their thoughtful feedback. We are convinced that we have adequately addressed all the expressed concerns and that the manuscript has been improved as a result of this process.

Sincerely,

Juan Pablo Alperin

Assistant Professor, Publishing

Associate Director, Public Knowledge Project

Director, Scholarly Communications Lab

Simon Fraser University

Attachments
Attachment
Submitted filename: Response to Reviewers.docx
Decision Letter - Florian Naudet, Editor

PONE-D-21-10048R1

How faculty define quality, prestige, and impact of academic journals

PLOS ONE

Dear Dr. Alperin,

Thank you for submitting your manuscript to PLOS ONE. After careful consideration, we feel that it has merit but does not fully meet PLOS ONE’s publication criteria as it currently stands. Therefore, we invite you to submit a revised version of the manuscript that addresses the points raised during the review process.

Thank you for answering the reviewers's comments. However, after a rapid check, I'm afraid that you may have missed some of my editorial points. Please excuse me if I am wrong. 

- In order to facilitate my assessment, please follow a reporting guideline (and please add a form of checklist). I suggest SRQR (https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/srqr/) but I may be wrong so feel free to use any other guideline if you think that it fits better with your research. Thank you in advance. 

- Please also make it explicit in the method section if there was a pre-specified protocol for this very specific research question (the one presented in this paper) and it if it was registered (and where). Please attach the protocol in a supplementary file. If there was no protocol, nor registration, please make it explicit and justify. 

- Please add a few words in the text and abstract about the main limitations, to avoid any spin. 

Please submit your revised manuscript by Aug 21 2021 11:59PM. If you will need more time than this to complete your revisions, please reply to this message or contact the journal office at plosone@plos.org. When you're ready to submit your revision, log on to https://www.editorialmanager.com/pone/ and select the 'Submissions Needing Revision' folder to locate your manuscript file.

Please include the following items when submitting your revised manuscript:

A rebuttal letter that responds to each point raised by the academic editor and reviewer(s). You should upload this letter as a separate file labeled 'Response to Reviewers'.

A marked-up copy of your manuscript that highlights changes made to the original version. You should upload this as a separate file labeled 'Revised Manuscript with Track Changes'.

An unmarked version of your revised paper without tracked changes. You should upload this as a separate file labeled 'Manuscript'.

If you would like to make changes to your financial disclosure, please include your updated statement in your cover letter. Guidelines for resubmitting your figure files are available below the reviewer comments at the end of this letter.

If applicable, we recommend that you deposit your laboratory protocols in protocols.io to enhance the reproducibility of your results. Protocols.io assigns your protocol its own identifier (DOI) so that it can be cited independently in the future. For instructions see: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/submission-guidelines#loc-laboratory-protocols. Additionally, PLOS ONE offers an option for publishing peer-reviewed Lab Protocol articles, which describe protocols hosted on protocols.io. Read more information on sharing protocols at https://plos.org/protocols?utm_medium=editorial-email&utm_source=authorletters&utm_campaign=protocols.

We look forward to receiving your revised manuscript.

Kind regards,

Florian Naudet, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

[Note: HTML markup is below. Please do not edit.]

Reviewers' comments:

[NOTE: If reviewer comments were submitted as an attachment file, they will be attached to this email and accessible via the submission site. Please log into your account, locate the manuscript record, and check for the action link "View Attachments". If this link does not appear, there are no attachment files.]

While revising your submission, please upload your figure files to the Preflight Analysis and Conversion Engine (PACE) digital diagnostic tool, https://pacev2.apexcovantage.com/. PACE helps ensure that figures meet PLOS requirements. To use PACE, you must first register as a user. Registration is free. Then, login and navigate to the UPLOAD tab, where you will find detailed instructions on how to use the tool. If you encounter any issues or have any questions when using PACE, please email PLOS at figures@plos.org. Please note that Supporting Information files do not need this step.

Revision 2
Decision Letter - Florian Naudet, Editor

PONE-D-21-10048R2

How faculty define quality, prestige, and impact of academic journals

PLOS ONE

Dear Dr. Alperin,

Thank you for submitting your manuscript to PLOS ONE. After careful consideration, we feel that it has merit but does not fully meet PLOS ONE’s publication criteria as it currently stands. Therefore, we invite you to submit a revised version of the manuscript that addresses the points raised during the review process.

First of all, I would like to thank the 2 reviewers for their fast peer review. As you will see there are still 2 minor issues. I agree with one reviewer that the 2 tables can be moved in appendix. I suggest to follow this suggestion. If you disagree, please explain why these tables/figures are, in your view, necessary. There is also a last conceptual point from the other reviewer and I think that he makes a good point here. Please address his comment.

Pending these two minor changes/edits, I'll be more than happy to accept this manuscript for publication. 

Please submit your revised manuscript by Sep 09 2021 11:59PM. If you will need more time than this to complete your revisions, please reply to this message or contact the journal office at plosone@plos.org. When you're ready to submit your revision, log on to https://www.editorialmanager.com/pone/ and select the 'Submissions Needing Revision' folder to locate your manuscript file.

Please include the following items when submitting your revised manuscript:

  • A rebuttal letter that responds to each point raised by the academic editor and reviewer(s). You should upload this letter as a separate file labeled 'Response to Reviewers'.
  • A marked-up copy of your manuscript that highlights changes made to the original version. You should upload this as a separate file labeled 'Revised Manuscript with Track Changes'.
  • An unmarked version of your revised paper without tracked changes. You should upload this as a separate file labeled 'Manuscript'.

If you would like to make changes to your financial disclosure, please include your updated statement in your cover letter. Guidelines for resubmitting your figure files are available below the reviewer comments at the end of this letter.

If applicable, we recommend that you deposit your laboratory protocols in protocols.io to enhance the reproducibility of your results. Protocols.io assigns your protocol its own identifier (DOI) so that it can be cited independently in the future. For instructions see: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/submission-guidelines#loc-laboratory-protocols. Additionally, PLOS ONE offers an option for publishing peer-reviewed Lab Protocol articles, which describe protocols hosted on protocols.io. Read more information on sharing protocols at https://plos.org/protocols?utm_medium=editorial-email&utm_source=authorletters&utm_campaign=protocols.

We look forward to receiving your revised manuscript.

Kind regards,

Florian Naudet, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Journal Requirements:

Please review your reference list to ensure that it is complete and correct. If you have cited papers that have been retracted, please include the rationale for doing so in the manuscript text, or remove these references and replace them with relevant current references. Any changes to the reference list should be mentioned in the rebuttal letter that accompanies your revised manuscript. If you need to cite a retracted article, indicate the article’s retracted status in the References list and also include a citation and full reference for the retraction notice.

[Note: HTML markup is below. Please do not edit.]

Reviewers' comments:

Reviewer's Responses to Questions

Comments to the Author

1. If the authors have adequately addressed your comments raised in a previous round of review and you feel that this manuscript is now acceptable for publication, you may indicate that here to bypass the “Comments to the Author” section, enter your conflict of interest statement in the “Confidential to Editor” section, and submit your "Accept" recommendation.

Reviewer #1: All comments have been addressed

Reviewer #2: (No Response)

**********

2. Is the manuscript technically sound, and do the data support the conclusions?

The manuscript must describe a technically sound piece of scientific research with data that supports the conclusions. Experiments must have been conducted rigorously, with appropriate controls, replication, and sample sizes. The conclusions must be drawn appropriately based on the data presented.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

3. Has the statistical analysis been performed appropriately and rigorously?

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: I Don't Know

**********

4. Have the authors made all data underlying the findings in their manuscript fully available?

The PLOS Data policy requires authors to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction, with rare exception (please refer to the Data Availability Statement in the manuscript PDF file). The data should be provided as part of the manuscript or its supporting information, or deposited to a public repository. For example, in addition to summary statistics, the data points behind means, medians and variance measures should be available. If there are restrictions on publicly sharing data—e.g. participant privacy or use of data from a third party—those must be specified.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

5. Is the manuscript presented in an intelligible fashion and written in standard English?

PLOS ONE does not copyedit accepted manuscripts, so the language in submitted articles must be clear, correct, and unambiguous. Any typographical or grammatical errors should be corrected at revision, so please note any specific errors here.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

6. Review Comments to the Author

Please use the space provided to explain your answers to the questions above. You may also include additional comments for the author, including concerns about dual publication, research ethics, or publication ethics. (Please upload your review as an attachment if it exceeds 20,000 characters)

Reviewer #1: (No Response)

Reviewer #2: My comment:

"Instead of looking for the impossible, i.e. absolute, timeless measures for quality and prestige,

these initiatives start with the conclusion that quality, excellence and prestige are context

dependent. Research quality, its products and evaluation are highly context dependent which

makes direct comparisons of historians, philosophers and chemists and even researchers within

for instance the domain of biomedical and health research, irrelevant. It is about 'rigor,

plausibility, originality, societal value' (Asknes 2019) but in a given research setting, with a

strategy, aim, specific goals, a process (f. i .Open Science practices) and if applicable actions in

the corresponding societal context (Nowotny et al, Rethinking Science, 2001).

To say that research is Excellent or Good requires from peers/reviewers, a narrative, a motivation

of judgement of strengths and weakenesses based on reading and understanding of the content of

the work.

This is the approach taken in the recently adopted National Strategic Evaluation Protocol (SEP)

in The Netherlands"

https: //www.vsnu.nl/files/documenten/Domeinen/Onderzoek/SEP_2021-2027.pdf

The author's response:

We very much agree with this reviewer’s view and believe that the research presented here

(alongside the other publications from this project) help to confirm this perspective by showing,

through concrete empirical evidence, some of the pernicious effects of using seemingly objective

measures and standard definitions for evaluations that should be context specific

My response now:

Despite this positive reaction , the author's in the paper do not respond to this major comment of mine. They write in the paper: "While it is known that there is a lack of definitions for many of the terms and concepts used in research assessment (Dean et al., 2016; Hatch, 2019; Moore et al., 2017; van Mil & Henman, 2016), this study explores how three key terms are understood by faculty in absence of these definitions."

They leave it open at the end of the discussion how to deal with this problem. It is felt to be a problem by those who believe it useful to compare evaluations between very different fields of research. These comparisons now based on JIF, h-index. numbers of citations etc are as they argue correctly deeply flawed. They do not conclude, as they seem to do in the reply to my comments, that these terms are dependent on discipline, sub-disciplines and strategy and on thematics of research fields and topics. Give the change in science and society they are not timeless either.

Thus, that many terms they have investigated are quite different in use and have no absolute universal definition or meaning, must mean that looking for absolute generally applicable indicators is not the way to approach what by many is felt to be a problem. This inescapable conclusion, which for many brought up in current science may be difficult, should be mentioned in the discussion and that, as a way forward, we need to broadly introduce and train the use of narratives both from researchers and reviewers, auditors, peers, to transparently deal with this context dependency. This is possible impact of their work on development of policies of research evaluations and highly relevant to suggest.

The SEP in The Netherlands has dealt with this 'problem', but narratives have been introduced in the REF in the UK and elsewhere before.

**********

7. PLOS authors have the option to publish the peer review history of their article (what does this mean?). If published, this will include your full peer review and any attached files.

If you choose “no”, your identity will remain anonymous but your review may still be made public.

Do you want your identity to be public for this peer review? For information about this choice, including consent withdrawal, please see our Privacy Policy.

Reviewer #1: Yes: Lex Bouter, professor of Methodology and Integrity, Amsterdam University Medical centers and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Reviewer #2: Yes: Frank Miedema

[NOTE: If reviewer comments were submitted as an attachment file, they will be attached to this email and accessible via the submission site. Please log into your account, locate the manuscript record, and check for the action link "View Attachments". If this link does not appear, there are no attachment files.]

While revising your submission, please upload your figure files to the Preflight Analysis and Conversion Engine (PACE) digital diagnostic tool, https://pacev2.apexcovantage.com/. PACE helps ensure that figures meet PLOS requirements. To use PACE, you must first register as a user. Registration is free. Then, login and navigate to the UPLOAD tab, where you will find detailed instructions on how to use the tool. If you encounter any issues or have any questions when using PACE, please email PLOS at figures@plos.org. Please note that Supporting Information files do not need this step.

see attached document.

Attachments
Attachment
Submitted filename: Response to Reviewers.docx
Revision 3

Thank you and the two reviewers for this rapid second review. We apologize for our own delay in returning our manuscript “How faculty define quality, prestige, and impact in research”. The response came while many of us were away on vacation and it is only now that we were all able to review our response.

We are pleased to resubmit our manuscript with the requested revisions. As you can see in the attached manuscript, we have moved the two tables to supplementary materials and made substantial additions to directly address the remaining reviewer comment in the discussion. You will now find additions that directly include the reviewer’s suggestions on p. 13 (lines 15-16; 19-29), p. 14 (lines 13-17; 22-28), as well as in a line in the abstract.

We are certain these additions would be met with agreement by the reviewer, as they substantially incorporate their views into the discussion and conclusions of our work. We trust you will agree.

Attachments
Attachment
Submitted filename: Response to Reviewers R&R2.docx
Decision Letter - Florian Naudet, Editor

How faculty define quality, prestige, and impact of academic journals

PONE-D-21-10048R3

Dear Dr. Alperin,

We’re pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been judged scientifically suitable for publication and will be formally accepted for publication once it meets all outstanding technical requirements.

I would like to thank you for all the work you did during the peer review process and I would like to thank the 2 reviewers again for their important feedback.

Within one week, you’ll receive an e-mail detailing the required amendments. When these have been addressed, you’ll receive a formal acceptance letter and your manuscript will be scheduled for publication.

An invoice for payment will follow shortly after the formal acceptance. To ensure an efficient process, please log into Editorial Manager at http://www.editorialmanager.com/pone/, click the 'Update My Information' link at the top of the page, and double check that your user information is up-to-date. If you have any billing related questions, please contact our Author Billing department directly at authorbilling@plos.org.

If your institution or institutions have a press office, please notify them about your upcoming paper to help maximize its impact. If they’ll be preparing press materials, please inform our press team as soon as possible -- no later than 48 hours after receiving the formal acceptance. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information, please contact onepress@plos.org.

Kind regards,

Florian Naudet, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Additional Editor Comments (optional):

Reviewers' comments:

Reviewer's Responses to Questions

Comments to the Author

1. If the authors have adequately addressed your comments raised in a previous round of review and you feel that this manuscript is now acceptable for publication, you may indicate that here to bypass the “Comments to the Author” section, enter your conflict of interest statement in the “Confidential to Editor” section, and submit your "Accept" recommendation.

Reviewer #2: All comments have been addressed

**********

2. Is the manuscript technically sound, and do the data support the conclusions?

The manuscript must describe a technically sound piece of scientific research with data that supports the conclusions. Experiments must have been conducted rigorously, with appropriate controls, replication, and sample sizes. The conclusions must be drawn appropriately based on the data presented.

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

3. Has the statistical analysis been performed appropriately and rigorously?

Reviewer #2: N/A

**********

4. Have the authors made all data underlying the findings in their manuscript fully available?

The PLOS Data policy requires authors to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction, with rare exception (please refer to the Data Availability Statement in the manuscript PDF file). The data should be provided as part of the manuscript or its supporting information, or deposited to a public repository. For example, in addition to summary statistics, the data points behind means, medians and variance measures should be available. If there are restrictions on publicly sharing data—e.g. participant privacy or use of data from a third party—those must be specified.

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

5. Is the manuscript presented in an intelligible fashion and written in standard English?

PLOS ONE does not copyedit accepted manuscripts, so the language in submitted articles must be clear, correct, and unambiguous. Any typographical or grammatical errors should be corrected at revision, so please note any specific errors here.

Reviewer #2: Yes

**********

6. Review Comments to the Author

Please use the space provided to explain your answers to the questions above. You may also include additional comments for the author, including concerns about dual publication, research ethics, or publication ethics. (Please upload your review as an attachment if it exceeds 20,000 characters)

Reviewer #2: (No Response)

**********

7. PLOS authors have the option to publish the peer review history of their article (what does this mean?). If published, this will include your full peer review and any attached files.

If you choose “no”, your identity will remain anonymous but your review may still be made public.

Do you want your identity to be public for this peer review? For information about this choice, including consent withdrawal, please see our Privacy Policy.

Reviewer #2: Yes: Frank Miedema

Formally Accepted
Acceptance Letter - Florian Naudet, Editor

PONE-D-21-10048R3

How faculty define quality, prestige, and impact of academic journals

Dear Dr. Alperin:

I'm pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been deemed suitable for publication in PLOS ONE. Congratulations! Your manuscript is now with our production department.

If your institution or institutions have a press office, please let them know about your upcoming paper now to help maximize its impact. If they'll be preparing press materials, please inform our press team within the next 48 hours. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information please contact onepress@plos.org.

If we can help with anything else, please email us at plosone@plos.org.

Thank you for submitting your work to PLOS ONE and supporting open access.

Kind regards,

PLOS ONE Editorial Office Staff

on behalf of

Pr. Florian Naudet

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Open letter on the publication of peer review reports

PLOS recognizes the benefits of transparency in the peer review process. Therefore, we enable the publication of all of the content of peer review and author responses alongside final, published articles. Reviewers remain anonymous, unless they choose to reveal their names.

We encourage other journals to join us in this initiative. We hope that our action inspires the community, including researchers, research funders, and research institutions, to recognize the benefits of published peer review reports for all parts of the research system.

Learn more at ASAPbio .