Tools to help you do less peer review and get less peer review spam

At Academic Karma we don’t think that more peer review is necessarily better.  Yes, peer review is essential for the modern scientific enterprise.   But you only have so much time, and there are  many demands on that time: admin, teaching, supervision on top of actually doing your own research.  You could always review more by spending less time on each review – but this will impact on the quality of your peer review.

So, here are the tools we have devised to help you peer review less (but hopefully better!)

1. Combined reviewing/publishing profile so you and others can see that you have done your fair share.  We integrate your publishing record (via ORCID) with a summary of your peer review history (e.g. ).  So you can see when you have done enough peer-review overall, and also when you have done enough peer review for a particular journal. If you have done your share, then you can feel justified in declining the review invitation.

2. A tool to see if the authors have done their fair share of peer review.   When you register an manuscript review invitation at Academic Karma, we generate a combined reviewing and publishing profile of the first and last two authors.  So you can see if the authors have done their share.  If they haven’t then again you are justified in declining the invitation.

3. A tool to decline the review invitation and help editors find new reviewers.   We provide a link for you to ‘decline’ the invitation.  This sends an email to the editor informing them you can’t do the review as well as a link with tools for them to find a new reviewer.  After all, its not really your job to find reviewers for the editors.  The editor will also be able to access your profile (to see that you have done your share) as well as the combined authors’ profile.

4. Keywords to indicate the topics you care about reviewing. We let you specify keywords on your profile, and we provide tools for editors to find reviewers on the basis of those keywords, so that you only get invitations on topics which are of relevance to your current research interests (and not something you worked in 5 years ago).

We are working towards building a platform which provides reviewers much more control over when and what they are asked to peer-review.   Our vision is for an editor to immediately be able to identify willing expert reviewers so that there is no more need to ‘spam’ review invitations to 5 times the number of reviewers required for a paper.


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