Day 29 – Publons (Assessment)

Publons_logoOne of the quirks of scientific publishing is that a good part of the labor is unpaid and unrecognized – the peer review that scientists provide for one another, providing quality control, editorial services, and valuable commentary on new research. A researcher might spend hundreds of hours per year on this invisible work, without which the current system of scholarly publishing would collapse.

Publons provides a way for reviewers to get credit for their contributions. Researchers create profiles like this one on Publons and upload their pre- and post-publication reviews; the system verifies the reviews (a number of publishers work with Publons so that the verification process is streamlined), and researchers can then use their profiles to create and export verified reports of review contributions in a format they can include on their CVs, in promotion and funding applications. Scholars can control how each review is displayed on their profile (blind, open, or published) so reviewer anonymity is protected, where required.

Publons has a long-term goal of benefiting science by surfacing the valuable contributions that reviewers make to scientific research, ultimately improving the scientific research cycle by motivating and rewarding, through recognition, this essential work. A related goal is to encourage the sharing of peer reviews, discussion and commentary, so they can enrich scientific discourse, rather than vanish without a trace, as most reviews do now.

Other notable features:

  • a section that provides valuable resources for new reviewers, with advice from experienced reviewers, examples, and a list of external resources
  • a quarterly rewards program for top reviewers with prizes like credits for Amazon Web Services or a license for Manuscripts, a writing and editing software.

The goal is to turn peer review into a visible, recognized, and rewarded research activity for the benefit of scientists and science.

Take a look, create your profile, and let your work be acknowledged!

Read a 2014 article about Publons in Nature:
The scientists who get credit for peer review

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