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Our niche

On twitter today Luca Borger (@lucaborger) asked how we would compare our platform to the Peerage of Science initiative, which leads to the question of where Publons fits in the academic ecosystem.

We share a similar philosophy with Peerage of Science, as we do with many of the other new ventures in this space - PeerJ, Scholastica, academia.edu, Mendeley, etc etc etc. We are all driven by the belief that the speed and the cost of the current publishing system is unacceptable in an age where we have the will and the way to make the dissemination, evaluation and discussion of research fast and free.

So, in what ways do we differ from others in this area?

We see two primary points of difference. First, we have an explicit aim to not *be 'just another journal'. We are not here to collate the content of papers, but rather to collate all of the *dialog *around those papers. We aim to eventually house the evaluation and discussion of *any *paper, published *anywhere.

The second point of difference is our approach to peer review.

We believe that comprehensive and critical peer review remains an essential part of producing and disseminating scientific knowledge. The approach taken by others who have attempted to collate discussion of academic papers has typically centered around comments only - whereas we have made an effort to separate the act of reviewing a paper from the act of discussing a paper.

We believe that peer reviews of open access journals should themselves be open access - ie. public. There is much valuable information in reviews that is currently lost to the readership. Capturing and sharing that information will lead to more efficient dissemination of scientific knowledge.

We believe that open access peer review should give full credit to the reviewer. Reviewing journal articles is currently a time-consuming and pretty thankless job, but it is a job which is essential to advancing science. People who give their time should get something in return, and by attributing reviews, the reviewers can build reputation and prestige that will advance their careers.

With both parts of this review process open, the opportunity arises to use a much more effective process for ranking publications than journal selection. The community of readers can rate articles and reviews, letting high quality papers quickly rise in prominence in a similar model to stackoverflow or reddit.

Thanks for your question Luca! We're eager to answer any other questions that the twitter community has for us.

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