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Opinion Poll: Should Peer Reviewers be paid?

An interesting question arose at the Peer Review: Nuts and Bolts workshop on the 25th of April – should peer-reviewers be paid?

Rubriq are one publisher who pay their reviewers, saying:

“First, philosophically we feel that reviewers should be compensated for the valuable service they provide for the scientific community. Second, providing payment makes the process more formal, and can lead to more standards, training, and recognition. Finally, in order to be able to deliver high-quality, consistent reviews in a two-week timeline, it is important to provide compensation for that commitment. And by offering reviewers the option of an honorarium in lieu of payment, some of those earnings can even go directly back into research organizations.”

But what do you think?

Have your say in this poll:

You can also listen to the views of a selection of young academics here:


Interview with Professor John Gilbert, Editor of the International Journal of Science Education

inte jour

Professor John Gilbert is the Editor of the International Journal of Science Education. I asked him for some insight into the role of an editor, what makes a good paper and what percentage of papers get rejected.


Interview with Alice Ellingham, Director of Editorial Office Ltd.



editorial office

Alice Ellingham is founder and director of Editorial Office Ltd, a company which manages peer review for journals such as PLOS ONE.

I asked her to tell me more about the Editorial Office, her personal thoughts on paying reviewers, and the best way to conduct peer review.



Peer Review Debate – Question Time

On the 2nd April we hosted a debate called Peer Review is Broken, How Can We Fix It? After a brief talk from each of the panelists, the debate was opened up so that the audience could ask questions. This audio is the question and answer section of the #prwdebate. 

Recorded and edited by Shivali Best and Abby Beall.


Reviewing supervisors’ work – Yes or No?

I sent a survey out to the postgraduate students at City University London about their thoughts on the peer review process. One of my questions asked:

Would you be happy to peer-review your supervisor’s work?

The results that came in showed a variety of responses. As shown in the graph below, 87% of respondents answered ‘Yes’, while the remaining 13% of respondents said they would not be happy reviewing their supervisor’s work.


Seven of the survey participants also left comments on the reasoning behind their answer:

To find out about their background

It’s anonymous and I’m more experienced in some areas

I consider myself to be an academic, making me capable of reviewing academic studies

Only if it is anonymous. I do not want my supervisor to know I critisise him

I have reviewed both supervisors work. It’s useful to see different writing styles – it helps me realise she isn’t perfect. It’s useful to see the process from draft to submission.

If anonymous.

Good experience as an opportunity to analyse something critically

These responses suggest that as long as the peer-reviewing process is anonymous, they would feel comfortable reviewing a supervisor’s work.



After the #prwdebate – interview with Adam Etkin

The following is an interview with Adam Etkin, Managing Director of PRE-Score – a peer review evaluation system. Adam is based in New York, so he followed the #prwdebate “Peer review is broken, how can we fix it?” on Twitter and YouTube. I asked him about his thoughts on the debate, and the topics that we covered.


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Did you watch the debate live using our Google hangout?



How to Measure the Influence of a Journal

In scientific publishing, journal metrics are used to determine the influence of a scholarly journal. Each metric is different, but generally they count the number of citations a journal receives in other people’s work (a sign that the work has been deemed important). Today, the Thomson Reuters Impact Factor published in  Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is the most established journal metric, but other metrics are becoming increasingly important – this infographic provides a simple summary of some of the biggest. Journal Metrics Copy(1)