Company hopes to incentivize peer review

vrijdag 9 juni 2017

“Peer review underpins the entire academic enterprise. It is the main method of quality control employed by journals. By offering drafts of a paper to anonymous experts, poor arguments or dodgy science can be scrubbed up or weeded out. That is the theory. In reality, things are murkier. Anonymity makes peer review unglamorous, thankless work. That matters, for these days scientists are under relentless pressure from universities and funding bodies to publish a steady stream of papers. Anything that distracts from that goal—including reviewing the research of others—could mean forfeiting grants or career advancement.”

This citation is taken from an article that appeared on The Economist on June 1st, 2017 and that hands a possible solution offered by the firm Publons. Publons mission is to speed up research by harnessing the power of expert peer review. In order to do so they track and showcase peer-reviewing contributions so scientists can quantify their reviewing work.  The hope is that universities and funding bodies will take reviewing work into account when handing out promotions or cash. Another goal is to fight fraud. Linking researchers’s citation records with their records as revierwers will make it easier for journal editors to select reliable reviewers and harder for duplicitous authors to deceive them.

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