Publons Partnership to Enhance Peer Review Experience

April 17th, 2019

We’re excited to announce that we have partnered with Publons to recognise and reward our peer reviewers by supporting them to record, verify and display their contributions.
Person sitting in front of large computer displays

Journal Publisher Alice Hall, who led the Publons partnership and integration

Peer review is the cornerstone of scientific publishing, yet peer reviewers are often the least acknowledged and rewarded contributors within the publishing ecosystem.

Every day, researchers donate their time and effort towards peer review, providing a vital service which helps to ensure the integrity of the research published within their field. By contributing their expertise and constructive feedback, peer reviewers help us to publish high quality, impactful and relevant publications.

We want to recognise and reward our peer reviewers for their commitment, by supporting them to record, verify and display their contributions. That is why we’re very excited to announce that we have partnered with Publons (external link) to support this goal.

We asked our Journal Publisher Alice Hall, who championed the partnership at CSIRO Publishing, to tell us a bit more about Publons and what it means to our peer reviewers, our editorial boards and our publishing process.


What is Publons?

Publons is a free online platform which enables reviewers to record and showcase their verified reviews. This can help researchers to demonstrate their service to the research community and expertise in the field, for use in their performance reviews, funding and promotion applications, and more. Established in New Zealand in 2012, Publons was acquired in 2017 by Clarivate Analytics.

Over 1700 of our previous reviewers are already manually listing their reviews for our journals on their Publons profiles – that’s almost 3300 reviews! We’re glad that we can support them by making this process much easier, and encourage more of our reviewers to access the benefits of this platform.


How does it work for peer reviewers?

Firstly it’s important to say that no one is going to be automatically signed up to Publons – this is definitely an optional service. If you complete a review for one of our journals, you will be asked through ScholarOne, our manuscript submission system, if you wish to add a record of the review to your Publons profile. If you opt in, you will receive an email with a link which lets you claim your review and either generate or add to an existing profile.

Reviewer anonymity will be maintained throughout, with only the year of the review and the journal name appearing on public reviewer profiles.

The process is very simple and is one way we can support reviewers to showcase their work and get the credit that they deserve.

Screenshot of a sample Publons profile

The Publons profile of Australian Journal of Zoology Editor Janine Deakin


How will Publons help our editorial boards?

Finding excellent reviewers can be one of the trickiest jobs for our editors. Across the industry peer reviewers are becoming fatigued and an increasing number of invitations are required to find reviewers who are willing and available. In addition, our editors naturally draw from their own networks, which can impact on diversity and inclusion in peer review.

As part of our partnership with Publons, our editors now have access to Publons Reviewer Connect. This tool has been integrated into our peer review system to offer improved suggestions for new reviewers, drawing on peer review and publication history from Publons and Web of Science. We hope that growing our network of reviewers will mean we will be able to strengthen the quality of our journal content, while making our editors’ lives a little easier.

Screenshot of reviewer connect

Search results using the Reviewer Connect tool


Why is this such an important partnership for our publishing process?

Quality, rigorous peer review is crucial for ensuring our journals continue to publish to the highest international standards. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), we are committed to meeting best practice ethical standards in publishing and peer review.

We also want to develop and engage with our reviewer community more effectively. Ultimately our peer reviewers are the backbone of our journals – without them we would not be able to publish the impactful research we do.


Publons Reviewer Recognition is now available for all CSIRO Publishing journals integrated with ScholarOne. Visit our website to find out more.