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A Peer Review Revolution?

A new social network provides a novel forum for science publishing and peer review.

By | January 24, 2012

image: A Peer Review Revolution? Flickr, Chris Lott

FLICKR, CHRIS LOTT

A new online service is aiming to revolutionize the way scientific research is peer-reviewed. Rather than a journal editor sending the paper to potential reviewers and requesting feedback, the new site—called Peerage of Science—allows researchers to upload their manuscripts, which will be made anonymous and posted on a site accessible only to members. Keywords in the paper will then alert relevant experts, who can assign the paper a grade from 1 to 5. Those papers that receive enough high marks will be forwarded to journals associated with the site. The journal editors can then decide to reach out to the authors with publication opportunities, rather than the other way around. Authors, of course, are free to decline any offers they may receive.

The service, created by three Finnish researchers, hopes to improve upon several oft-cited drawback of traditional peer review, including the risk of favoritism among colleagues and the fact that the reviewers often go unrewarded for their work. (See The Scientist’s 2010 feature on problems with peer review.) Under the Peerage of Science system, members are not permitted to review manuscripts of scientists at the same university or colleagues they have collaborated with in the last 3 years. And scientists receive credits for the time they put in—one credit for each review they submit—which can be spent to upload their own manuscripts, which cost a half-credit each.

"This formalizes an unwritten rule: he who wants his manuscripts reviewed, reviews other manuscripts in return," Janne-Tuomas Seppänen, a postdoc at University of Jyväskylä, who came up with the initial idea for Peerage of Science service in February 2010, told ScienceInsider. With consent from peer reviewers, their reviews will be archived in an online journal called Proceedings of Peerage of Science.

Peerage of Science, which is currently focused on ecology but hopes to branch out to other disciplines, currently has about 500 scientist members and has already partnered with the ecology journal Ecography, published by Wiley. The service is sponsored by the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Eastern Finland, where its creators are based.

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Comments

Avatar of: janneseppanen

janneseppanen

Posts: 1

January 24, 2012

This news item has some factual errors (manuscripts are reviewed in writing just as they always have been, but the reviewers grade each other on a scale from 1 to 5, and the service does not forward manuscripts to journals - instead editors can anonymously track any manuscript and send publishing offer to authors if the manuscript meets their criteria). Please check the service pages or the Science Magazine story source.

Avatar of: TheSciAdmin

TheSciAdmin

Posts: 56

January 24, 2012

Thanks for pointing out the error. A correction has been amended.

Thanks for reading!
~Jef Akst, editor, The Scientist

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 24, 2012

This news item has some factual errors (manuscripts are reviewed in writing just as they always have been, but the reviewers grade each other on a scale from 1 to 5, and the service does not forward manuscripts to journals - instead editors can anonymously track any manuscript and send publishing offer to authors if the manuscript meets their criteria). Please check the service pages or the Science Magazine story source.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 24, 2012

Thanks for pointing out the error. A correction has been amended.

Thanks for reading!
~Jef Akst, editor, The Scientist

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 24, 2012

This news item has some factual errors (manuscripts are reviewed in writing just as they always have been, but the reviewers grade each other on a scale from 1 to 5, and the service does not forward manuscripts to journals - instead editors can anonymously track any manuscript and send publishing offer to authors if the manuscript meets their criteria). Please check the service pages or the Science Magazine story source.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 24, 2012

Thanks for pointing out the error. A correction has been amended.

Thanks for reading!
~Jef Akst, editor, The Scientist

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 25, 2012

Enlightenment And Peer Review

Enlightenment?
December 17, 2011
Enlightenment?Theories, Blind men-Elephant And Peer-ReviewA. Theory, the first of several definitions:http://www.merriam-webster.com... analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another.B. Enlightenment, a philosophical movement of the 18th century, characterized by belief in the power of human reason and by innovations in political, religious, and educational doctrine.http://dictionary.reference.com/brows.... The tale re the blind men and elephant:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.... Peer-review:http://www.merriam-webster.com... process by which something proposed (as for research or publication) is evaluated by a group of experts in the appropriate field.E. AAAS peer-review:http://universe-life.com/2011/.... What kind of enlightenment can re-evolve in a counter-enlightenment culture, in which scientific theories postulated by “blind menâ€쳌 are selectively “certifiedâ€쳌 or “rejectedâ€쳌 by an omnipotent blind-men trade-union-association?Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)http://universe-life.com/2011/...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 25, 2012

Enlightenment And Peer Review

Enlightenment?
December 17, 2011
Enlightenment?Theories, Blind men-Elephant And Peer-ReviewA. Theory, the first of several definitions:http://www.merriam-webster.com... analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another.B. Enlightenment, a philosophical movement of the 18th century, characterized by belief in the power of human reason and by innovations in political, religious, and educational doctrine.http://dictionary.reference.com/brows.... The tale re the blind men and elephant:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.... Peer-review:http://www.merriam-webster.com... process by which something proposed (as for research or publication) is evaluated by a group of experts in the appropriate field.E. AAAS peer-review:http://universe-life.com/2011/.... What kind of enlightenment can re-evolve in a counter-enlightenment culture, in which scientific theories postulated by “blind menâ€쳌 are selectively “certifiedâ€쳌 or “rejectedâ€쳌 by an omnipotent blind-men trade-union-association?Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)http://universe-life.com/2011/...

Avatar of: Dov Henis

Dov Henis

Posts: 1457

January 25, 2012

Enlightenment And Peer Review

Enlightenment?
December 17, 2011
Enlightenment?Theories, Blind men-Elephant And Peer-ReviewA. Theory, the first of several definitions:http://www.merriam-webster.com... analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another.B. Enlightenment, a philosophical movement of the 18th century, characterized by belief in the power of human reason and by innovations in political, religious, and educational doctrine.http://dictionary.reference.com/brows.... The tale re the blind men and elephant:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.... Peer-review:http://www.merriam-webster.com... process by which something proposed (as for research or publication) is evaluated by a group of experts in the appropriate field.E. AAAS peer-review:http://universe-life.com/2011/.... What kind of enlightenment can re-evolve in a counter-enlightenment culture, in which scientific theories postulated by “blind menâ€쳌 are selectively “certifiedâ€쳌 or “rejectedâ€쳌 by an omnipotent blind-men trade-union-association?Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)http://universe-life.com/2011/...

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