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#PublishYourReviews: Open Conversation on Preprints and Reviewing

#PublishYourReviews: Open Conversation on Preprints and Reviewing

#PublishYourReviews is a campaign to encourage more transparency, enrich the scientific conversation with diverse expertise, and catalyze a culture of open commenting on preprints. ScienceOpen is proud to be a supporter of this initiative spearheaded by ASAPbio, a scientist-driven nonprofit working to promote innovation and transparency in the life sciences.

Publish Your Reviews encourages all reviewers to post their comments alongside the preprint versions of articles.

With over 2 million indexed preprints from a wide range of repositories and a powerful infrastructure for open peer review, ScienceOpen is ideally situated to support the Publish Your Reviews initiative. We look forward to facilitating the conversation on preprints and open peer reviewing and publishing your reviews!

The initiative invites all the researchers interested in promoting more open dialog around preprints to sign the following pledge:

“When a journal invites me to review an article that is available as a preprint, I will publish my review alongside the preprint. I will make sure that the published version of my review does not include the journal name, a recommendation for publication, or other confidential information.”


Why post reviews publicly?

Academic peer review is an important part of the scholarly publishing and communication process. Researchers evaluate and improve their peers’ research by sharing their expert opinion. 

Peer reviews published alongside preprints provide readers with additional context on preprints, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and open questions. It also allows for the reuse of reviews, reducing the burden on editors and reviewers.


In addition, the public dissemination of reviews brings scientific debates into the public domain, catalyzing a culture of open scholarly debate and promoting greater recognition for the reviewer to a broader audience.

Open reviews on ScienceOpen

At ScienceOpen we have been committed to open peer review since the start. Over the years we have continued to explore open peer review tools and workflows to support preprint management, post-publication review, and the creation of open access journals based on open peer review.

The identities of the reviewers and their comments are always visible on ScienceOpen. In order to review as an expert, a researcher requires an ORCID author ID with at least 5 publications. In that way, we can maintain a level of quality control while sharing the academic expertise and context that a particular reviewer brings to the review process beyond status or academic hierarchy.

Reviews, like formal research publications, are published with a Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY (4.0) license and receive a CrossRef DOI number. This means that reviews are reusable, citable, and permanent records of your reviewing activities.

On our About Page, you can learn more about Review on ScienceOpen.

#PublishYourReviews on ScienceOpen

Did you sign the #PublishYourReviews pledge? It is easy to do on ScienceOpen! When joining ScienceOpen, simply link your ORCID account after registering, and with 5 publications you are automatically granted Reviewer Status. If you don’t have 5 publications yet, contact us at to request a status upgrade.

How to #PublishYourReview on ScienceOpen:

  • Register with your ORCID
  • Find or add the preprint to a paper you have been asked to review.
  • Post your review
  • Done!

You have been asked to review an article and you know there is a preprint version? Search for the preprint on ScienceOpen with the “Preprint” filter, by title or DOI. We index preprints by arXiv, bioRxiv, medRxiv, Center for Open Science, ResearchSquare, Zenodo, ResearchGate,, and more. If the preprint you are looking for is not indexed in ScienceOpen yet, just request that it be added from your dashboard.

From the preprint landing page just click the Review Article button and start reviewing! Even if an article has been published and “passed” peer review, you can still share your review on it because research is an ongoing process. On ScienceOpen you can review preprints or published articles, books, or chapters or invite other experts to review as well. Authors, editors, and network other members can invite to review.

We have created a 5-star reviewing system on ScienceOpen to rate an article in four categories, based on feedback from various researchers, authors, reviewers, and publishers in our network.

Our reviewing categories:

  • Level of importance
  • Level of validity
  • Level of competence
  • Level of comprehensibility

After you rate the publication based on our reviewing categories, you can start writing a short summary and a full review report, which includes various formatting elements and tools that might be useful in your reviewing process, such as images, tables, links, and formulas, etc.

Open Peer Review journals on ScienceOpen

Some journals are already actively implementing the workflow envisioned by the #PublishYourReviews initiative: 1) post manuscript as a preprint, 2)editors, authors, and users invite and review preprints in an open discussion, 3) preprints that have been openly reviewed, revised, and accepted by the editor are published in the journal.

UCL Open: Environment is an example of this open peer review workflow on ScienceOpen. On the UCL open publishing platform, the author submits a manuscript and then the Editor-in-Chief reads the submission and makes a decision on whether it meets the minimum standards for peer review. After the manuscript is accepted, it is published immediately as a preprint with a Crossref preprint DOI and integrated with ORCID on the UCL Open’s preprint server. During this stage the editors invite reviewers, and the authors and readers are also encouraged to invite experts to review the work.

Reviews are published openly to provide context about the reviewer’s publication history and areas of expertise but to also inform the readers of any valuable insights and comments on the submitted work. 

The new Journal of Systems Thinking (JoST) follows a similar workflow that allows authors to first submit manuscripts as “preprints” for open peer review and discussion in JoST’s collection.

Expert reviewers are then invited by editors and authors to review the preprint, and after a review is published, authors can revise their work in response to reviewer comments and submit it for final publication to the editors of the journal. 

Systemic Analysis of Socioeconomic Determinants of Health in American Kids with a Behavioral Focus: A Case Study Using the Agent-Based Approach (ABA)

Once an article is accepted it will be professionally published on ScienceOpen, put in the context of 78 million scholarly publications, and distributed to a range of services. ScienceOpen provides long-term archiving through CLOCKSS, Google Scholar metatags, and support with indexing services for the widest possible distribution. 

UnisaRxiv has a slightly different structure – as a preprint repository, submissions are not dedicated to a single journal. Instead, it is designed to provide a platform that allows for rapid dissemination of the latest findings in diverse topics and to promote submissions from any grade of researcher at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and beyond. Each manuscript submitted that is accepted for posting as a preprint will be first copy-edited and language polished by the editorial team of UNISA Press. The entire publishing process at UnisaRxiv aims to be accessible, transparent, and accountable, operating as a preprint repository with open peer review.

After initial moderation, preprints will be then evaluated based on their merit and scientific validity (sound scholarship) and may be offered publication in a UNISA Press journal.

Here is an example of a positively reviewed article: Generating Sympathy for Specific Characters and Events in Mandla Langa’s The Dead Men Who Lost Their Bones (1996)

Authors are encouraged to invite open reviews and comments and to upload revised versions of their manuscripts after posting.

AfricArXiv Preprints is another collection where reviewers can give their contribution, by reviewing, publishing reviews, and facilitating the scholarly discussion on research topics coming from Africa. AfricArxiv is dedicated to speeding and opening up research and collaboration for African scientists and helping to design the future of scholarly communication globally. 

This collection is sourced from the AfricArXiv repositories and provides you with the opportunity to directly upload your preprint manuscript for Peer Review on the ScienceOpen platform.

A special mention goes to JMIR Publications, a supporter of the #PublishYourReviews initiative, together with ScienceOpen and other publishers. Check out the collections by JMIR on Digital Health and Research Protocols, and join the conversation on a more open and collaborative reviewing landscape.

Are you interested in reviewing, starting an overlay journal or collection, or have other ideas for the preprint and open review infrastructure on ScienceOpen? Get in touch with Stephanie Dawson. She would love to hear your ideas and help you to #PublishYourReviews!

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