Online Social Network Seeks to Overhaul Peer Review in Scientific Publishing

Connotea Imports 2012-07-31


"The current peer review system in which journal editors send potentially publishable manuscripts to experts for review is hotly debated. Many scientists complain that the system is slow, inefficient, of variable quality, and prone to favoritism. Moreover, there's growing resentment in some quarters about being asked to take valuable time to provide free reviews to journals that are operated by for-profit publishers or that don't make their papers open-access. Several suggestions have been made to improve the peer review system, such as introducing credits for reviewers, using social media, and making the process more transparent. Peerage of Science aims to combine these ideas, explains co-founder Mikko Mönkkönen, an applied ecologist at the University of Jyväskylä. A researcher would initially upload a manuscript to Peerage of Science. It will then be made anonymous and posted on a Web site that is exclusively accessible to other members, which currently stands at around 500 scientists. Along with the manuscript, the authors can add a short pitch explaining why peers should review this manuscript. Potential reviewers receive an e-mail if tagged keywords reflecting the manuscript match their expertise—bird migration, for example. After reviewing a paper, peers are allowed to grade the quality of the other reviews, by awarding a grade between one and five. Editors of journals partnering with Peerage of Science can anonymously track reviews, get automated updates on the paper and make an offer to publish the paper, perhaps after a requested revision. Authors are free to accept or decline their offers. Scientists receive one credit for every review they finish. These credits are required to upload a manuscript, which costs two credits divided by the number of coauthors. The author who uploads a manuscript is also obliged to have a positive balance. "This formalises an unwritten rule: he who wants his manuscripts reviewed, reviews other manuscripts in return," explains Janne-Tuomas Seppänen, a postdoc at University of Jyväskylä, who came up with the initial idea for Peerage of Science service in February 2010...."


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Tags: oa.peer_review oa.networking



Date tagged:

07/31/2012, 11:48

Date published:

01/24/2012, 15:58