Jon Tennant and Tony Ross-Hellauer, in a new preprint on SocArXiv:

As a core component of our immense scholarship system, it is routinely and widely criticised. Much ink has been spilled on highly-cited and widely-circulated editorials criticising or championing peer review. A number of small- to medium-scale population-level studies have investigated various aspects of peer review’s functionality; yet the reality is that there are major gaps in our theoretical and empirical understanding. Research on peer review is not particularly well-developed, often producing conflicting, overlapping, or inconclusive results, and seems to suffer from similar biases to much of the rest of the scholarly literature.

They float the idea of a new ‘peer review studies’ field. The 2017 paper that Tennant, Ross-Hellauer, and an army of co-authors used to outline an array of possible peer-review futures is a good charter for their proposed field.