In just a few short years, Publons membership has reached more than 80,000, comprising of researchers, editors, and publishers, and by December 2016, that number rose to a solid 100,000 expert reviewers! At present, they currently have over 150,000 researchers. The company recognizes that not all reviewers are equally dedicated to the process, so recognition might help them feel more attached to their assignment. To this end, Publons has invited editors to rate the reviewers using a four-point scale and to provide written remarks. Those with excellent scores are recognized with a gold star on their individual profiles, which can be used as a selling point of their skills in a particular field of study. Written remarks can also be good training tools to improve performance and determine what editors deem important. With continuous feedback from all involved, Publons intends to continue increasing the ways by which researchers, editors, authors, and publishers interact.
Although the value of peer review is difficult to overstate, without researchers willing to offer their expertise to publishers in order to vet submitted articles, academic publishing would come to a halt. However, since there is no formal system of peer review training—how are early career researchers supposed to learn the vital skills of peer review? Publons aims to address this issue with its newly launched Publons Academy, a peer review training course aimed at inculcating the essential skills of peer review via ten training modules and active mentorship by scientific experts.
The Publons Academy is currently open for enrollments and its training course will offer many benefits including:
- Access to ten modules that were designed to teach the core competencies and skills for peer review
- Opportunity to practice writing real post-publication reviews with input from your current supervisor
- Possibility of being endorsed by your supervisor as an expert in your field with the skills needed to serve as a peer reviewer
- A badge will be posted on your Publons profile upon completion of the course
- Thousands of journal editors seeking experts to perform peer review will be alerted to the fact that there are newly trained reviewers
- Opportunity to meet with editors at elite journals to prove your newfound expertise
- A better understanding of how to publish and present your own research.
The Publons Academy peer review training course was developed in conjunction with researchers, peer reviewers, journal editors, and Nobel Laureates. This level of investment speaks to the need that scientific publishers have for peer reviewers. Publons Academy, through this training course, is filling a need to broaden the peer review pool by offering peer review training to early career researchers.
Plans to provide training for researchers very rarely include peer review training, even though peer review is an essential part of academic publishing. Publons Academy, therefore, represents a way for early career researchers to obtain peer review training and a way for scientific publishers to be able to identify experts with formal training in peer review. Participating in Publons Academy will also give you the chance to liaise directly with editors of prestigious scientific journals. Establishing relationships with journal editors could be incredibly valuable for both you, as a newly trained expert reviewer, and the editor, who always needs more reviewers to speed the process of making quality research available to the wider community. Sign up with Publons to register for the course and get trained by the experts.
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