Supporting and Recognizing Peer Reviewers Through Publons

By eContent Pro on Sep 10, 2021
Accuracy, integrity, and transparency are some of the most critical components of academic publishing. Executing a sound peer review process ensures that authors benefit from high-level constructive feedback from other scholarly experts in the field and supports authors with improving the quality of their work.
The role of the peer reviewer is arguably equally as important as the authors’, as you cannot have quality research results without a proper vetting process. Without reviewers and, consequently, their reviews, the work would never leave the ground. Still, reviewers rarely get the recognition they deserve for their work. Over the last few years many different platforms have strived to introduce some level of reviewer recognition, one of the most notable being Publons.
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About Publons

Publons is an online platform that aids in showcasing researchers’ journal and conference peer review activity; activity that is often done on the individual’s own time, their own dime, and without proper recognition for
their efforts.

Publons was started in 2012 by Andrew Preston and Daniel Johnston with peer reviewers in mind. Allowing academic researchers to track, verify, and display their peer review and/or editorial achievements, the Publons website houses the accomplishments of thousands of researchers, free of charge. When it comes to reviewers, anonymity remains, and only the year of the review and name of the journal appear in one’s profile.

How Publons Works


Using Publons, researchers can import their publication history from partnered platforms, such as ORCID. In addition, thousands of academic journals from leading publishers like SAGE, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, and Springer Nature, and IGI Global have also partnered with Publons, enabling quick and simple verification of journal editing and peer review records. This service makes it easier than ever to get proper recognition for review work.

Reviewers need to opt-in as they are not automatically signed up. Reviewers for participating journals can choose to have a record of their review added to their Publons profile. When they complete a review in a peer review submission system (e.g. ScholarOne or Editorial Manager) they will see this option. Reviewers can also add reviews from non-partnered journals to Publons. To do this, the reviewer needs to send proof of the review such as the ‘Thank you for reviewing email’ to Publons then checks proof of the review and updates the profile. A Publons-verified review can then be used by the reviewer for career progression and funding initiatives.

Publons awards top reviewers multiple times a year with various categories of awards. In fact, as stated by Publons, their Global Peer Review Awards are, “The only cross-publisher awards that celebrate the efforts of peer reviewers worldwide.”

Celebrating Peer Review Globally

As platforms such as Publons are ensuring that attention is being paid to the peer review process and that reviewers are receiving the recognition they deserve for their hard work, many different collaboratives all over the world are taking shape to honor the process on a global scale. For instance, Peer Review Week, is a virtual community-led event that occurs annually (usually in September) to celebrate the importance of the peer review process. Peer Review Week provides an opportunity to showcase one’s work, to share research, and to outline the latest in all things peer review. Peer Review Week came to be by the efforts of ORCID, Sense about Science, Wiley, and ScienceOpen, and was first celebrated in 2015. With different themes each year, Peer Review Week continues to celebrate just that—peer review—by hosting various activities like webinars, blog and social media posts, panel discussions, and more.

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