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New features 2: Recommend a reviewer!

Peerage of Science
05 Jul 2015

Enhancing Open Engagement with Recommendations.

The idea that scientists can and should engage to peer review what they want, rather than being appointed by an infallible editor, is one of the key ideas of Peerage of Science.

However, the sending and receiving of "reviewing requests" in the old system has one important advantage: it's social. When asked "why do you accept a reviewing request?", many will answer "because I was asked to, and because I know / like / respect / fear the person who asked me".

Compared to that, Peerage of Science was lacking an important human aspect.

That changes with the new Recommend a reviewer -feature. Next to the manuscript view everyone - authors, reviewers, editors, or anyone who has access to the manuscript - sees a menu of Peers. The default shows reviewers ranked by performance in manuscript's fields, but you can easily search for a specific peer. Then just click the thumbs-up, and the Peer receives an email saying you have just recommended them, together with a link to the manuscript.

You can also recommend a colleague who is not yet in Peerage of Science (please do!) - the recommendation is recorded, sent together with your invitation, and they can access the manuscript after registering and passing the validation checks.

Your recommendation directly increases recipient's Popularity score, regardless of whether they proceed to engage the manuscript. The way we see it, a recommendation is a vote of confidence on the Peer's ability to do peer reviews in the manuscript's field, and as such it is important that it is recorded among the Peer's profile scores. It also means that receiving recommendations is very different from receiving mere reviewing requests.

What's in it for you?

First, there is of course the social aspect: it's a nice way to say "you're good" to someone you want to acknowledge.

Secondly, it also directly impacts your own profile score: when someone follows through and completes a peer review after your recommendation, the performance score for that Essay contributes to your Catalyst score. Hence, your Catalyst score reflects your ability to identify and encourage high-quality peer reviewers. Most of the time you will also find your Catalyst details showing the name of the Peer (but not the manuscript association), showing the world the reach of your network.

An important exception to name display are cases when you recommend someone for your own manuscript. It is perfectly OK to recommend peer reviewers yourself (their access is automatically blocked if they are from your own institution or have recently co-authored articles with you, but the recommendation is recorded nonetheless). But if someone you recommended does a peer review on your manuscript, the detail row will say Anonymous, to protect reviewer anonymity. Name is also withheld if the Peer has set profile score display to private.

We hope you will find this feature useful and fun at both ends, sending and receiving recommendations!

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