Recognizing reviewers based on quality, not just quantity
Editors can now seek out – and nominate – peer reviewers based on the quality of their work
By Bahar Mehmani, PhD, and Ursula van Dijk Posted on 21 April 2016
The time, energy and expertise reviewers contribute to ensure the science of their peers is sound and worthy of being published in a peer reviewed journal is vital to the advancement of science and medicine.
Unfortunately, it often goes unnoticed.
Reviewer Recognition platform
Elsevier's Reviewer Recognition platform enables reviewers to:
- Track their reviewer status
- Access an annual review history report
- Claim discounts for books and author services purchases
- Collect certificates of recognition
- Volunteer to review for other journals
- Claim peer reviews for non-Elsevier journals
- Link to their article history via their ORCID iD.
For this reason, we’re always looking for ways to make their contributions more visible and recognizable.
Through the Reviewer Recognition platform, Elsevier reviewers have access to a personal review profile page in which they can view their Elsevier journal review history and in a few simple steps create a public Reviewer Page listing all their peer review activities – including those for other publishers’ titles.
However, when it comes to granting recognition, up until now, quantity was the main factor. Reviewer statuses are awarded based on the number of reviews they have completed for a specific journal: a reviewer who completes at least one review within a two-year time period becomes a Recognized Reviewer, while those in the top 10th percentile become Outstanding Reviewers.
This recognition has certainly been appreciated. Since the launch of the Reviewer Recognition platform, more than 450,000 reviewer individual profiles with a “status” have been created. Reviewers receive the encrypted link to their personal profile every time they complete a review for a title. They can download a variety of certificates based on the number of reviews they submit to a journal and take advantage of other perks such as discounts on Elsevier bookstore and WebShop author services.
However, in response to requests from our editors and reviewers, we have added a quality dimension to this recognition.
Our journal editors can now select reviewers using the back end of the Reviewer Recognition platform based on the quality of their reviews, nominating them for a “Certificate of Excellence.” The nominated reviewer will receive an email including an encrypted link to their personal profile page, where they will be able to download this Certificate of Excellence. This certificate complements the certificates based on frequency of review. At the same time editors can decide to publish the list of nominated reviewers on their journal homepage as well.
"It is wonderful that the new Elsevier tool allows us to nominate reviewers for a special acknowledgement,” said Dr. Barbara Albert, Editor of Solid State Sciences and Full Professor for Inorganic Solid State Chemistry at Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany. Their work is so valuable for us and it is really a challenge to show them how much we actually appreciate it. Now it gets a bit easier."
Dr. Barrett G. Potter, Editor of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids and a Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Arizona, said:
The process of nominating reviewers is relatively straightforward. Hopefully, the archive that is developed by the system (that we can access) will keep a running history of recognitions that we can refer back to as the years go by.
Elsevier Connect Contributors
Dr. Bahar Mehmani, Publishing Innovation Manager at Elsevier, is working on a number of reviewer-related projects, all of which are designed to recognize reviewers' contributions to the progress of science. She received her PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Amsterdam in 2010. Before joining Elsevier, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light.
Ursula van Dijk has more than 20 years of experience in STM journal marketing. Currently, she leads a team of marketers who support publishing initiatives in the Physical, Formal and Applied Sciences area by communicating and interacting with researchers. Additionally, she is responsible for engaging with reviewers with a focus on initiatives that recognize their contributions to science. She holds a post-graduate degree in journalism.