Peer review is a fundamental yet often criticised part of the publication process. Peerage of Science is an innovative platform that has been designed to overcome some of the recognised flaws and offers several benefits to both authors and peer reviewers. The inspiration, aims and future development of Peerage of Science were discussed by its founder and managing director, Dr Janne-Tuomas Seppänen in a recent blog.
Dr Seppänen describes how it was through his experience as a peer reviewer that the idea for Peerage of Science arose. He found that there was typically no feedback provided for peer reviewers and the quality of reports was never questioned. He states that one of the key aims behind Peerage of Science was to provide a means to “measure, encourage, incentivise and reward high quality in peer review”.
Once an author uploads their manuscript to Peerage of Science, it is open to peers for review, which takes the form of a structured essay with a 1000-word limit. Once the deadline for review has been reached, peers can then judge each other’s essays giving them a Peerage Essay Quality (PEQ) score. In light of the reviews, authors can withdraw their manuscript or submit a revised version, which the same peers then assess. From this, a Peerage Article Quality (PAQ) score is calculated for the revised manuscript.
This process benefits the peer reviewer by providing a verifiable measure of the quality of their report. For the author, who sets the review deadlines, it not only speeds up the peer-review process but, as subscribed journals are able to make publishing offers to authors at any point, it can also reduce the time to publication. Alternatively, authors are able to submit their already peer-reviewed paper to a journal of their choice.
With ever-increasing partnerships with publishers and journals, Dr Seppänen is pleased with the current expansion of Peerage of Science, but acknowledges that there is still work to do to raise awareness amongst scientists.