Making scientific peer review open

Scientific reputation is essential to researchers for their academic advancement, tenure, research grants and fellowships. It relies, most of the times, on quantitative metrics such as the H Index, citation counts, article counts etc. And, of course, getting published in a journal in the first place is down to the age-old tradition of anonymous peer review.

The community has begun to struggle with this approach for many years now. The likes of arXiv (for physics), open access journals and other efforts have begun to look at alternative publishing models, but anonymous referees have remained at the heart of the process.

A new site – Peer Evaluation – hopes to complement the conventional quantitative metric system with a whole new set of qualitative indicators that are comprehensive, transparent and immediately verifiable by researchers and funding institutions, allowing scientists themselves to curate the peer reviewing of their own papers.

Will it succeed? Are we about to see a new dawn for science? Or, will tradition hold sway?