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Peer Review by Endorsement – a change for the better

There are many things in life that are (arguably) better in the digital age. Many of these improvements we take for granted: no longer getting lost traveling from A to B thanks to Google Maps; locating errant teenagers using their phone GPS ; reading the NYT on the go; reaching out to powerful (and less so) people on Twitter or interacting with family and friends using Facebook. Overall, there appears to be a greater sense of transparency in our own lives and those of others.

When we think about Peer Review, the dark, anonymous, delayed kind that still prevails, it seems that none of the above benefits apply which is why ScienceOpen places so much importance on developing new models. We have two processes: Post-Publication Peer Review and the recently announced Peer Review by Endorsement (PRE) which is the vision of Advisory Board Member Jan Velterop who recently wrote and published this Opinion on Peer Review which he shared at a conference in Austria.

Image credit: Change is Inevitable, GollyGForce, Flickr, CC BY
Image credit: Change is Inevitable, GollyGForce, Flickr, CC BY

Here are a few achievements of which ScienceOpen is quite proud:

  • We show the way forward – for example, here’s the first ever article published using PRE.
  • We’re entirely transparent – everything is attributed (no anonymity here) which means that reviewers are far less likely to behave badly.
  • We’re fast – you submit your work, we make sure it meets our general publication requirements and it’s live with DOI immediately.
  • We accentuate the positive – “endorsement” means that you ask others that you respect to review your work before publication (a few rules apply).
  • We keep the expert conversation alive – those with five or more publications on their ORCID can review your work, either before and after publication or simply afterwards.

And, with Article Metrics, Collections and Open Citation Information freely available on over 10 million articles and records, researchers can find a great deal to like here.