CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Synlett 2021; 32(09): 885-891
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1705955

How and Why Crowd Reviewing Works

a   Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Organisch-Chemisches Institut, Corrensstraße 36, 48149 Münster, Germany   Email:
Benjamin List
b   Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Platz 1, 45470 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany   Email:
› Author Affiliations

Dedicated to Prof. K. Peter C. Vollhardt on the occasion of his 75th birthday


In this Account, the development of Select Crowd Reviewing from the initial idea through a pilot phase to the present moment, when it is now used as the default method for the evaluation of manuscripts at Synlett and SynOpen is detailed. We describe the workflow through which a manuscript is evaluated when Select Crowd Reviewing is applied. A series of questions and answers is used to address typical concerns and the advantages Select Crowd Reviewing offers when compared to traditional peer review.

1 Introduction: The History of Select Crowd Reviewing

2 The Select Crowd Reviewing Workflow

3 Questions We Have Received Regarding Select Crowd Reviewing

4 Conclusion

Publication History

Received: 14 September 2020

Accepted after revision: 22 September 2020

Article published online:
30 October 2020

© 2020. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany

  • References

    • For selected resources discussing the merits, but also challenges faced by the peer review system, see:
    • 1a Smith R. Br. Med. J. 1988; 296: 774
    • 1b Shatz D. Peer Review: A Critical Inquiry. Rowman & Littlefield; Lanham, MD: 2004
    • 1c Benos DJ, Bashari E, Chaves JM, Gaggar A, Kapoor N, LaFrance M, Mans R, Mayhew D, McGowan S, Polter A, Qadri Y, Sarfare S, Schultz K, Splittgerber R, Stephenson J, Tower C, Walton RG, Zotov A. Adv. Physiol. Educ. 2007; 31: 145
    • 1d Walker R, Rocha da Silva P. Front. Neurosci. 2015; 9: 169
    • 1e Csiszar A. Nature 2016; 532: 306
    • 1f Faggion CM. Jr. Br. Dent. J. 2016; 220: 167
    • 1g Carroll AE. Peer Review: The Worst Way to Judge Research, Except for All the Others, Nov. 8, 2018. The New York Times; New York: 2018: 3
  • 2 List B. Nature 2017; 546: 9

    • For selected resources highlighting the sensitivity of the peer review system towards unethical behavior and fraud, see:
    • 3a Smith R. J. R. Soc. Med. 2006; 99: 178
    • 3b Ferguson C, Marcus A, Oransky I. Nature 2014; 515: 480