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Judge orders unmasking of anonymous peer reviewers

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Science  02 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6375, pp. 504-505
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6375.504

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  • RE:

    Reviewers confidentiality has for long been the cornerstone of academic publishing even though many academic journals are already using a system when the author can suggest the reviewers during the article submission. Yet, there might be a time for a change. This might be especially relevant due to the rise of the predatory journals and publishers who only pretend to put articles under review.
    Perhaps a new initiative called 'publons' might help. Publons is a global community embracing over 25.000 journals and more than 270.000 reviewers linked to the ORCID identification control scheme that encourages academics to peer-review research articles by earning virtual tokens or 'publons' along the way. The initiative already found many supporters among big academic publishing players. Some universities reportedly started checking the publons profiles of the potential job candidates.
    Introducing the transparent and functional system of reviewers’ identifications would virtually allow us to kill two birds with one stone: it would enable us to combat predatory publishing and to corroborate disputable research outcomes in academic articles. If all reviewers were using some sort of identification, it would be possible to check whether any given article was peer-reviewed at all and by whom.

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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