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Reflecting on a decade of Publons (or close to)

Time is relative. At the scale of scientific research and discovery, ten years is short. For a company like Publons, ten years is a long time, allowing fast-paced achievements and growth.

The company was only a bold idea in 2010. Life-long friends Andrew Preston and Daniel Johnston elaborated the concept over Skype while Andrew was doing his PhD in Boston and Daniel was working in London. The pair moved back to New Zealand and made Publons a reality two years later, and while Daniel stayed in Wellington with the growing tech team, in 2015 Andrew moved to London to develop the commercial team.

In 2017, Publons was acquired by Clarivate Analytics and by 2019, the platform has five million reviews, two million researchers, and 5,000+ journal integrations from 250+ publishers, working together to improve the peer review process and help researchers track more of their research impact.

62 of these publishing partners came on board in 2019 and we want to celebrate them all in this blog post. But first, let’s go down memory lane and explore Publons milestones over the last decade.

10 Publons highlights in the 2010s

  • 2012 - Publons is created as a platform to discuss published research through post-publication review.
  • 2013 - Researchers can add verified pre-publications reviews to their Publons profile (and better ways to verify reviews are developed in 2014).
  • 2015 - First publisher partnerships on reviewer recognition (with Wiley, Sage, American Society for Microbiology, Royal Society, Cambridge University Press, and Emerald).
  • 2016 - Editors can keep a verified record of every manuscript they handle on their Publons profile.
  • 2016 - First annual Global Peer Review Awards (now hosted every year during Peer Review Week).
  • 2017 - Publons Academy launches to provide free, practical peer review training to researchers.
  • 2018 - Publons Reviewer Connect launches to enable publishers to find, screen and connect with reviewers.
  • 2018 - Global State of Peer Review report is published, the largest study of peer review of its time.
  • 2018 - Transparent Peer Review pilot is launched in collaboration with Wiley, enabling transparent publication of an article’s complete peer review process.
  • 2019 - Web of Science ResearcherID and Publons join forces.
  • 2019 - Grant Review In Focus report is published, the largest ever study of grant peer review.

That actually makes eleven highlights! And many more to come — Publons has and will continue to work hard to improve the transparency, recognition, quality, and efficiency of peer review, and to support researchers in showing the world more of their research impact.

A lot has happened in peer review in the 2010s too; in this blog post we outline some key trends that have helped to define, challenge, and progress the peer review system in the last ten years.

62 new partners to round off the decade

In 2019 we partnered with 57 publishers and 5 journals — they joined a global network of 5,000+ scholarly journals from 250+ other publishers all bringing greater recognition, efficiency and transparency to scholarly peer review.

The global diversity of our partnerships has greatly increased throughout the years. In 2015, we only partnered with publishers in Europe and North America (in equal numbers), while today 48% of our partners are based in Asia Pacific, 23% in Europe, 18% in North America and 10% in Emerging Markets, including Latin America and Middle East/North Africa.

Below is a list of partners who have joined the Publons community in 2019 (in alphabetical order):

Thank you to all of our partners, new and existing, and here’s to the new decade!

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