Terms for humans

We asked our lawyers to keep our terms simple. Then we wrote this even simpler summary. We hope it helps but we're not lawyers so keep in mind that the binding terms are below.

  1. Publons is a registered company in New Zealand
  2. Your responsibilities:

    • When you add reviews to Publons

      • They must be your own work and you must have the right to add it to Publons
      • You're giving us a license to use the review (we use the CC BY 4.0 license)
      • You agree that we can do things like verify your reviews or suggest reviewer candidates to editors
    • Please don't scrape the site (you should use our API)
  3. Our responsibilities:

    • We'll do our best to maintain your anonymity whenever you request it
    • We'll give you the ability to opt out of having your reviews automatically added to your profile by publishers
    • There may be cases where we work with publishers to enforce anonymity or prevent the publishing of reviews
    • We're not responsible for what you say in your reviews

General Terms

  1. These Terms of Service apply to your dealings with Publons Limited (“Publons”, “we” or “us”) and your use of our website and systems from the date these are published.
  2. We reserve the right to change these Terms of Service from time to time and the Terms of Service published at the time of browsing shall be those in effect.
  3. These Terms of Service are governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of New Zealand. Any disputes arising will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in New Zealand.

    What you agree to when using Publons

  4. By submitting reviews to us, you are granting Publons Limited (Publons) a licence to use the review. Unless otherwise stated, and subject to any express restrictions you or a third party place on such use the terms of such licence shall be in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (“CC BY 4.0”) as amended or replaced from time to time. You (or any other person holding copyright) will retain copyright, but this licence allows Publons to share, copy, distribute, transmit, adapt and make commercial use of the review throughout the world, in any media, without needing to provide additional permission, or to pay any royalties, provided appropriate attribution is made to the author or source.
  5. Publons may use the content of reviews and information about reviewers to generate derivative metadata for the benefit of Publons and you as a reviewer (without revealing what you have reviewed). For example, we may publicly verify your record as a reviewer, or we may help editors to identify candidate reviewers.
  6. Publons may generate revenue through the provision of its services, which in turn relies upon the submission of reviews from contributing reviewers.

  7. When you submit your review you promise that:

    1. You own or control the content of your review and it is your own original work;
    2. The content is not defamatory and does not infringe any applicable laws;
    3. The content is accurate, truthful and your own genuine opinion; and
    4. You will indemnify and hold harmless Publons for all damages, costs and expenses incurred for breach of these promises.
  8. When you submit your review you must ensure:

    1. It does not contain unlawful or objectionable content, ie you should not submit a review that contains words, language or content that is or may be considered unlawful, defamatory, libellous, abusive, racially or sexually offensive or obscene;
    2. It reflects your original and independent effort, and does not infringe the intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights of others (including breach of copyright, trademark, privacy or trade secrets);
    3. It does not contain viruses, worms, Trojan horses, cross-site scripting attacks (XSS), or other computer program that may damage or affect any system or data;
    4. It does not contain commercial web or e-mail addresses or any promotional or advertising material of any kind (no spam); and
    5. You do not use false e-mail addresses, impersonate others or in any way mislead as to your identity.

Misuse of service

  1. Users must not misuse the Publons service. Misuse of the Publons service includes (but is not limited to):

    1. Submitting content that is inaccurate, untruthful or known not to be your own genuine opinion;
    2. Submitting content which is unlawful, defamatory, libellous, abusive, discriminatory or obscene;
    3. Impersonating any person or entity;
    4. Misrepresenting your affiliation with any person or entity;
    5. Undertaking activity using the Publons service with the purpose of solely raising your own profile at the expense of sincerely-added, constructive and valuable content or actions.

What we agree to when providing our services to you

  1. Publons will respect reviewers’ request to submit reviews on an anonymous basis and will use its best endeavours to keep private and confidential any information submitted to Publons on this express basis and in accordance with our privacy policy.
  2. We will do our best to verify that reviews are correct. We use a variety of methods to verify reviews, which represent best practice, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all reviews published by Publons.
  3. We sometimes partner with third parties such as publishers to automatically transfer your reviews and personally identifying information to Publons. This makes it easier for you to build your reviewer profile. In those cases we will provide you with the option to “opt out” should you not wish to use this feature.
  4. Publons reserves the right not to publish reviews, to amend content of reviews at any time and to remove reviews from this website without notice after publication at Publons’ sole discretion. There may be cases where we agree with publishers to hide review content and ensure your review remains “blind”. In those cases we will clearly state why the content is not shown.
  5. Publication of reviews and other content on the website does not signify that Publons agrees or affirms with the views and content given.
  6. We do not agree to third parties scraping Publons’ website or using other tools to collect review and/or reviewer data without Publons’ prior written consent. The correct way to access these data is via our API. Please contact us at api@publons.com to discuss access.
  7. Publons shall not be in any way responsible or liable for reliance by third parties on any information contained within reviews submitted, and Publons does not make any representation or warranty, either express or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of any information or content contained within reviews. Publication of reviews does not signify that Publons agrees with the views and content given.
  8. The views contained within reviews are the reviewers’ own and Publons publishes reviews in good faith if they otherwise appear to comply with these Terms of Service.

Privacy Policy

  1. This Privacy Policy sets out what identifiable information we collect, how we collect it, and what we do with it. Our Privacy Policy applies to you and is available on our website and through other channels. In all your dealings with us you must ensure that others you represent are aware of the content of our Privacy Policy and consent to your acting on their behalf. This Privacy Policy does not cover the content of reviews you may submit, the terms of use of which are set out in our Terms of Service.
  2. Your Identifiable Information
    This refers to a combination of information such as your name, contact details that you supply us or is supplied to us. Your identifiable information is collected when you request information from us, contact us (and vice versa), use our website(s)/apps, link to or from our website(s)/apps, connect with us via social media and any other engagement we or our business partners have with you.
  3. We will update your identifiable information whenever we can to keep it current, accurate and complete.
  4. Our Use of Your Identifiable Information
    1. For the purpose of providing you with our services, we may disclose and process your information anywhere in the world, subject to these terms and any express restrictions you place on such disclosure and use.
    2. We will not disclose or distribute e-mail addresses, but we may facilitate a way for third parties to contact reviewers through our website.
    3. We will respect your request for your reviews to remain anonymous, if you so choose.
    4. We may collect and process your information for the purposes of operating our business, which is: collecting peer review information from reviewers and from publishers, and producing comprehensive reviewer profiles with publisher-verified peer review contributions that researchers can add to their resume.
    5. We may disclose your information to publishers, companies and our service providers who act as "data processors" on our behalf. These purposes include administration, service, quality and improvement-related activities, customer care, product innovation and choice, business management, operation and efficiencies, re-organisation/structuring/sale of our business (or group companies), risk assessment/management, security, monitoring, research and analysis, social media, reviews, advertising and marketing, and loyalty programmes.
    6. We do not collect information which may be considered "sensitive personal data" under the Data Protection Act 1998 (UK) or any equivalent legislation in other jurisdictions.
  5. Your Rights
    You are entitled to a copy of the identifiable information we hold about you free of charge and to correct any inaccuracies, and to delete any personal data if you wish to cease to use our services.
  6. Use Of Tools/"Cookies" and Links To Other Websites
    If our contact and dealing with you is via our website(s) or other e-platforms where our advertising is displayed, cookies may be used. To find out more about the types of cookies on our website(s), how we use cookies, to disable them or to change your preference and more, please refer to the information provided below. By using our website(s), you consent to our use of cookies.
  7. Our website(s) may contain links to third party websites or micro-sites not controlled or owned by us. It is your responsibility to check the status of these sites before using them. Please read their applicable terms and conditions, etc. carefully.
  8. Monitoring
    To monitor and improve our service and for security and fraud, we may review, monitor and/or record: (1) telephone calls; (2) transactions and activities at all points of contact; and (3) web, social media and app traffic, activities, etc. All recordings and derivative materials are and shall remain our sole property.
  9. We have taken all reasonable steps and have in place appropriate security measures to protect your identifiable information.
  10. Any changes to this Policy will be either posted on our website and/or made available on request.

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Our use of Cookies

A cookie is a small piece of information that is placed on your computer when you visit certain websites.

We use the following types of cookie:

  1. Service cookies that help us to make our website work as efficiently as possible; remember your registration and login details; and remember your settings preferences.
  2. Third party services and analytics cookies which are used to enhance functionality on our site (for example Google Analytics, Facebook Like, and Twitter Share). We have no access to third party cookies and third party organisations have no access to ours. The third party organisations that place cookies have their own strict privacy policies.

Most browsers allow you to turn off cookies. It's up to you do this but note that switching off cookies may restrict some functionality on the site such as your ability to log in.

  • If you would like to restrict cookies on Publons or the cookies used by our third party providers we recommend consulting your browser documentation:
  • If you would like to disable "third party" cookies generated by advertisers or providers of targeted advertising services, you may be able to turn them off by going to the third party's website and setting a policy specific to your browser or account.

Review & Commenting Guidelines

We want to build a community that is:

  • Constructive -- your contributions push the sphere of human knowledge forward;
  • Positive -- your contributions are focused around improving research, not tearing it down: and
  • Reliable - your contributions to the site are yours and provided in good faith.

With that in mind, we’ve developed the following principles:

  1. Post-publication reviews (PPRs) and comments are to be based around the research or reviews in question. Reviews and comments gratuitously aimed at individuals or groups are not acceptable.
  2. Post-publication reviews and comments should aim to provide insight, context and constructive feedback in the hope of progressing research and understanding in the field.
  3. Scrutiny and criticisms should be focused on the research, evidence-based (with citations), constructive and include recommendations for improving the work / future research.
  4. When signing PPRs and comments, ensure you have a completed profile (profile picture, bio and affiliations and linked ORCID ID) so readers can see your credentials and place your reviews or comments in context.
  5. Avoid overly emotional language (positive or negative) where possible.
  6. Where practicable, we will contact parties that are in breach of the guidelines and provide an opportunity for content to be amended. Where content is considered to be beyond reproach, it may be removed without prior warning. We will always notify the author of content that has been removed.
  7. Publons Community Managers periodically check the content of reviews and comments for material breaches of the guidelines.
  8. We invite users to report instances where they believe these guidelines have been breached by emailing info@publons.com , linking to the relevant review or comment and outlining how the content is in breach of the guidelines.
  9. Please do not include a link to any blog or website that is outside the scope of your review or the study itself. This includes any site connected to a campaign or movement with a political or social agenda.
  10. Please do not include advertising for commercial products or services of all kinds.
  11. Disclose conflicts of interest

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