Standalone peer review platforms?

Well, I’d never heard of these either.  But complaints about traditional peer review are common so it’s no surprise that movements are afoot to improve on that model.  I found this great list that I’ve included below (originated by Jason Priem) that is a work in progress and can be added to here.

The definition: Standalone peer review platforms” are places where you can go to write and read peer reviews about scholarly papers published anywhere (not just published on that site). Some common, but not required, features:

  • best-reviewed papers get promoted to frontpage
  • you can upload preprints as well as link to articles published elsewhere.
  • open reviews; sometimes anon, sometimes not.
  • reviewers get to pick what they’ll review (no assignments)
  • other common characteristics that nobody is quite sure about.

I found this great list that I’ve included below.  This list was originated by Jason Priem and is a work in progress that anyone can contribute to here.

Standalone peer review platforms:

  • annotatr: “citeulike+disqus mashup: a place for online journal clubs; Find abstracts and comment on them with your friends.”
  • Arxiliv: Reddit clone pulling in articles from ArXiv.
  • Axios Review: “An independent review organization. Essentially an editorial board of respected researchers that is not affiliated with a particular journal or publisher. We have your paper rigorously assessed by independent experts and then help it find a suitable journal.”
  • Epistimio – “Share your opinions on the papers you read. Publish signed or anonymous ratings or reviews to have your say in the steering of science. Debunk shallow science or unearth hidden gems that did not make it to the top-ranked journals.”
  • Faculty of 1000: “identifies and evaluates the most important articles in biology and medical research publications. Articles are selected by a peer-nominated global ‘Faculty’ of the world’s leading scientists and clinicians”.
  • Haldane’s Sieve – “Discussing preprints in population and evolutionary ecology”
  • Ilion Project – “Open and anonymous peer review”
  • LIBRE: Journal-independent, author-guided, open peer review platform developed by a non-profit international organization of volunteers.
  • OpenPub: “We’re launching a website to host scientific preprints alongside open discussion and review. We’re throwing in a reputation system to boot, so authors and readers can better assess the usefulness of reviews and comments. And it’s all going to be done out in the open.”
  • “ aims to promote openness in scientific communication, particularly regarding the peer review process. We are implementing a platform for peer review that generalizes over many subtle gradations of openness, allowing conference organizers, journals, and other “reviewing entities” to configure the specific policy of their choice”
  • PaperCritic: “ offers researchers a way of obtaining and providing feedback for each others [sic] work in a fully open and transparent environment.” Heavy Mendeley integration
  • “open review and collaborative reading of research papers”
    Rate, tag, and comment papers as they appear ont.
  • Peer Evaluation: “Curate the peer review of your scholarly communications;  make your work visible to scholarly search engines; track the impact & reuse of what you share online; disseminate anywhere and collect all feedback here…” [may go below][This is an interesting question. I’ve used PE as one publication venue for an article that I’d like to get peer reviewed. I also use it just to get feedback on stuff already published in peer-reviewed journals and for stuff like blog posts. So, where does it belong?]
  • Peerage of Science: Closed to public, access to community via invitation, application or by submitting a manuscript. Peer review privilege given only after validating identity and qualifications. Charges fees from publishers for access to reviews and evaluation data and opportunity to send direct publishing offers to authors. Free for scientists.
  • Publons: “Our mission is to speed up science by working with peer reviewers, publishers, and research institutions to make peer review a rewarding activity.” Platform for pre- and post-publication peer review.
  • PubMed Commons – the one system to rule them all?
  • PubPeer: “a website where open peer review is not intimidating to users, while maintaining the rigor and anonymity of the closed review process currently used by the major journals.”  Centralized database on which all first and last authors of biomedical articles can comment on biomedical articles.  Promoting a post-publication conversation.
  • PubUp: “an open access online platform for researchers to discover & share journal articles that are worth reading, to discuss scientific ideas that are worth spreading, and to connect with people who share similar interests.
  • Reffit: Open post-publication peer review, optionally anonymous. “Read a paper on your own, or with a journal club. If you find something praiseworthy in it, write about it on Reffit. If there is a problem with the statistics or interpretation, write about it on Reffit. Read other people’s comments and vote on them. The most informative praise and criticism will rise to the top, and we will have a summary that gives every scientist the insider’s insight. Your reputation will grow as you write praises and criticisms that win votes.”
  • Rubriq: Closed review, charges authors to submit manuscripts. “As an independent, for-benefit organization, Rubriq can provide rigorous reviews by the same qualified peers who review for journals, but with a standardized scorecard that can be used in any publishing model. Our system will enable faster, more consistent reviews, and will help match papers with the right journals”.
  • ScholaredWorks – “a social platform for students, experts, and professionals to discuss scholarly content that matters to them.” Launching early 2014
  • Research and publishing network for scientists of all subject areas. Access/linking actually to more than 1 million open access articles among others from PubMed Central and arXiv. Private Collaboration workspace to draft and share new publications. Group functionality. Post-publication peer-reviewing and commenting of all articles in the system, including those published at ScienceOpen.
  • Sympoze: Private, blind, review with votes for reject or accept – ratio between these determines accept, reject, request revisions. Like a journal in some respects. Accepted papers go online (OA), print/ebook for sale. “By crowd-sourcing peer-review, referees need not worry about typing up a detailed referee report. Referees can read the paper and vote for acceptance or rejection and write one or two comments about the paper, instead of an entire report.”
  • SciOR: “Online registry service promoting efficient and accountable open peer review, effective reviewer participation incentives and reputation metrics, and rapid dissemination of discovery in science”.
  • The Third Reviewer: “a forum for scientists to share opinions about recently published research.” Now defunct as best I can tell
  • TiNYARM: “TinyARM is a simple tool to share the papers you read with your colleagues. You can suggest papers to your friends and as an extra bonus, you can keep track of what you read, skimmed, planned to read, and got as suggestions.”
  • Publons: “…a public peer-review platform that enables academics to gain reputation for their reviews.”
  • Journal Lab: “ database of figure-by-figure comments on published life sciences and biomedical research. Grad students and post-docs contribute by sharing the insights about published data that regularly occur in lab meetings, lunchroom discussions, and journal clubs.”
  • Researchgate Open Review “lets you publish an open and transparent review of any paper that you have read, worked with, or cited.”

Publishing portals built around post-publication review

I’ve added this list because these products often get thrown in with the ones above, since they both manage post-publication reviews. There’s a fundamental difference, though: these systems only support review of articles they host themselves. In this way, they’re much closer to traditional publishing, since they put dissemination, archiving, and certification all under one roof.

  • F1000 Research: “F1000 Research will offer immediate publication; open, post-publication peer review; open revisioning of work including ongoing updates; and encourage raw data deposition and publication….broad range of article formats and content types.”
  • PLOS Open Evaluation – “gives scientists a new way to provide valuable, structured feedback on articles they’ve read.”
  • WebMed Central: “…we publish a range of articles without any prepublication peer review in virtually every biomedical discipline…within 48 hours of submission. WMC encourages scientists and readers to submit their reviews on the published material freely.”
  • The Winnower: “online science publishing platform employing open post publication peer review. launching early 2014.” (from their Twitter desc)
  • Research and publishing network for scientists of all subject areas. Access/linking actually to more than 1 million open access articles among others from PubMed Central and arXiv. Private Collaboration workspace to draft and share new publications. Group functionality. Post-publication peer-reviewing and commenting of all articles in the system, including those published at ScienceOpen.


For things that seem like they should fit somewhere in here, but you’re not sure where


Want to add to this list? go here.


4 responses to “Standalone peer review platforms?

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