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Onymous peer review

Peerage of Science
10 Feb 2015

Peerage of Science just launched a new submission environment. Among other updates, Peerage of Science now features an exciting new option for submitting authors:

As an author, you can now require that everyone participating in the peer review process of your manuscript in Peerage of Science must agree to display name and contact information to everyone else participating in the process. Naturally this means that author names and affiliations are also displayed along with the names of peer reviewers and tracking editors. When the option is in force, this is highlighted with a Onymous badge in the engagement and tracking agreement pop-up, ensuring that peer reviewers and editors understand and agree to this before confirming their participation in the process. The badge is also displayed in the main process view.

Peerage of Science's default triple-blind peer review is of course still available too. [NOTE: triple-blind was replaced by double-blind on February 8th 2016] Triple-blind means that by default all participants are anonymous towards all other participants. This includes editors. Anyone may choose to disclose identity to others during the process. These standard processes are highlighted with Anonymous badge.

"This is a much-requested feature by many Peers who are advocates of Open Science, and I am excited to see how this is adopted by the community", says Janne-Tuomas Seppänen, the founder and Managing Director at Peerage of Science. "Will name disclosure someday become the norm and replace now-standard reviewer anonymity? I don't know, and personally I don't have strong preferences either way. What is important is that inclusion of Onymous peer review continues the ethos of Peerage of Science to enable - rather than trying to demand - new policies in scientific publishing. This helps to create space for natural evolution in the arena. Authors, reviewers, editors and the publishing industry together decide where the evolution goes", he continues. Seppänen also notes that including the feature is a strategic move for the company: "Quite a few journals, especially in fields of Medicine, actually require full transparency and inclusion of Onymous peer review option helps in expanding Peerage of Science's catering to these journals also."

Professor Mikko Mönkkönen, one of the co-founders of Peerage of Science, is also a member in the advisory panel for Finnish Ministry of Education initiative Open Science and Research 2014-2017. He said "judging research in an onymous framework can increase the trustworthiness of science, and especially since many academic journals already feature such policies, I think it is important that Peerage of Science also implements this option."

Professor Janne Kotiaho, also a co-founder of Peerage of Science, emphasized the freedom of choice: "Anonymous peer review still does have its merits, and many scientists and many journals wish to preserve anonymity. When introducing the Onymous peer review option, we felt it was important to keep the anonymous setting as the default. Also, we wanted to ensure that when Onymous option is chosen by authors, then Peers and participating journals are clearly notified about this before they engage that reviewing process."

About Peerage of Science:

Peerage of Science was founded in 2011 by Janne-Tuomas Seppänen, and professors Mikko Mönkkönen and Janne Kotiaho. The service is free for scientists, and offers two alternative paid modes of participation for publishers, called The Connect and The Select. The Connect includes Springer journals, PLOS Biology and PLOS ONE. The Select is a deeper dive into the new kind of peer review and publishing opportunities Peerage of Science offers, allowing journals to track any process before it is submitted anywhere, and gives rights to send publishing offers pro-actively. 19 journals currently participate in The Select: AMBIO, Animal Biology, Annales Zoologici Fennici, Behaviour, BioRisk, BMC Biology, BMC Ecology, BMC Evolutionary Biology, Entomologica Fennica, Ethology, Frontiers in Zoology, Journal of Avian Biology, MycoKeys, Nature Conservation, NeoBiota, Ornis Fennica, PeerJ , PhytoKeys, ZooKeys. Furthermore, journals who welcome author-included links to Peerage of Science reviews in their own traditional submissions, can ask for Listing in Peerage of Science website.

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