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Another world first: pre-publication portfolios for peer reviewers

Well, it's officially time. We know our update is slightly late this time around, but we promise it's worth it!

Those of you who have visited the site in the last couple of days will have noticed some changes. We've refreshed the home and 'How It works' pages, and add the 'Stream' activity page. But wait! There's more!

Record your pre-publication peer review

We've added the ability for you to record your pre-publication ('pre-pub') peer review work. This is work we know many of you already do, but for which there hasn't, up until now, been a way to be credited. And because we're partnering with journals, your pre-pub peer review work will be validated, proving that the work is yours.


Of course, there's another side to this - journals can also validate their pre-pub peer review through us, too.

This has two major benefits:

  1. You will be able to use your pre-pub peer reviews as an official part of your resumé, which will be especially useful in hiring and promotion decisions.

  2. Journals (both open access and paywalled) will be able to prove the quality of the peer reviews behind their published papers. They've borne the brunt of numerous recent attacks - remember the recent Science 'sting'? - calling the quality of their pre-pub peer review quality into question by showing that the journals publish dodgy papers. Validating these reviews through us will ensure a high standard of quality is maintained, and can be proven.

We understand that most pre-pub peer reviews are not for general eyes. As a result, these peer reviews will not, unless you so choose, be published. Instead, the existing types of pre-publication peer review - including closed, blind and double-blind - will be maintained. The difference is that you can now upload and show a record of your pre-publication work.

We'd like to encourage you all to head over to Publons and add some (or all!) of your pre-pub peer review work - we can't wait to see how impressive your portfolios are going to look! And keep an eye out; we're pulling in PeerJ reviews, too.

And if you want a couple of examples, head over to check out the pre-pub reviews and manuscript versions of this F1000Research paper on E. coli in retail chicken, and this full-length pre-pub review of this PeerJ paper on BRCA testing.

FAQ: How do I get credit for blind pre-pub peer reviews?

If you have a look at this example, you can see that the reviewer is displayed as 'anonymous'. However, they're only anonymous to the outside world!

When you put in a blind pre-pub peer review, our system anonymises the information shown to the outside world, while still knowing that it's yours. As a result, your profile will show that you reviewed for a journal at around this time, and anyone clicking on the review through a paper, will simply see that 'Anonymous' reviewed it.

And to make sure that no one makes any unfounded claims about their work, we'll be checking with journals, and validating each review to ensure that they exist, and belong to you!

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