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Graph: Editors' Global Search for Reviewers

Ever wondered how far afield editors look to find reviewers? We dug into our data to find out.

Have you heard the news? Publons Peer Review Awards are back for 2017!

On September 15th we will be announcing the world’s highest achievers in peer review across the world’s journals, and we’re more than a little bit excited about it.

Why? Because editors and reviewers join forces every day to protect the quality and integrity of scholarly communication. They are the unsung heroes of research who work tirelessly to help stamp out fraudulent, careless and unethical research.

They are the Sentinels of Science.

Unfortunately, the work that they do is getting harder and harder. Editors are finding it incredibly difficult to source qualified, motivated and trustworthy reviewers. Both are battling through inefficient processes, a lack of incentives, and the growing number of fraud and methodological flaws in research.

These are problems we're working hard to solve here at Publons, and we believe the answer lies in bringing more transparency, recognition and training to peer review (you can read more about that here).

It also involves rewarding editors and reviewers for the global collaborations they embark on every day to weed out misleading research and enhance the work of others.

That's where our Peer Review Awards* come in.

So, until we announce our winners during next month's Peer Review Week, here’s a snapshot of what that global collaboration looks like on Publons:

The graph is interactive (and best seen on your desktop): you can hover over the outer circle to see each individual country or region's connections, and hover over a connecting branch to see the actual numbers involved.

This data represents the geographic connection between editors and reviewers on Publons. It shows all cases where an editor from one country/region asked a reviewer from another country/rgion (or their own) to review, and the review is validated on our system.

We didn’t put a time-limit on this data so to simplify it in the graph above, we grouped countries as 'other' if they fell beneath one percent of the global review count.

And now here’s the complete graph showing the full picture of editor - reviewer connections on Publons:

We'd love to hear from you, the experts, about what story the data tells and your peer reviews for how we could improve this post. So tell us, what do you think?

There's obviously a lot of information at play here and we're curious to hear your interpretation of it - we are a review network, after all!

One thing is for sure, however, and that's despite the hurdles, you only need a cursory glance at the complete graph to see reviewers and editors around the globe are committed to the fight for sound science and research. From Latvia to Japan, Botswana to Germany, Cyprus to Iraq, peer review knows no borders.

Join us in celebrating editors and reviewers in our Publons Peer Review Awards on September 15, 2017.

They clearly deserve it.

*Our Publons Peer Review Awards honor the highest achievers in peer review across all academic disciplines. We’ve added a number of new categories this year, including the top post-publication peer reviewers, and the Sentinel Award - for outstanding advocacy, innovation or contribution to scholarly peer review. Sponsors include Sage, Wiley, Wolters Kluwer, Catalyst Grant and Web of Science, and it is open to all reviewers on Publons. Sign up today.


You can view the data set used to generate the graphs above here. The data is structured as below:

   "id": {
        "name": "editor's country name",
        "related": {
            "id": {
                "name": "reviewer's country name",
                "count": "number of reviews from this country"
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