More than 40% of UK, German and US reviewers feel overloaded by peer review requests, far more than in most other parts of the world, according to a study by IOP Publishing.
The report on peer review motivation collected thoughts from more than 1,200 researchers around the world.
It found German, US and UK reviewers were most likely to feel overloaded by review requests, with more than 40% saying they receive too many.
This is in contrast with reviewers from China and India, where less than 12% and 10% respectively reported receiving too many requests.
Other findings in the study suggest the primary motivation for reviewers comes from an interest in the paper and that feedback is the most valuable form of recognition, with nearly 60% of respondents saying cash or benefit-in-kind rewards provide very little motivation to review.
Antonia Seymour, publishing director at IOP, said: “The number of papers needing review continues to increase while the number of reviewers has not followed at the same rate. This global trend has led to fatigue among experienced reviewers, and those in certain locations who are being asked to review more frequently.
“We are constantly looking at how we can overcome these challenges, improve the peer review process and offer more support to peer reviewers. This led us to carry out this survey to truly understand the reviewer experience, what motivates them and their recognition needs. This understanding will be crucial to how our peer review process at IOP Publishing evolves.”