Peerage of Science
Peerage of Science provides scientific peer review and publishing service. The company was founded in 2011 by the scientists Janne Kotiaho, Mikko Mökkönen, and Janne-Tuomas Seppänen in Jyväskylä, Finland. The stated primary purpose is to foster and develop the practice of science, as well as the conditions, societal standing and evaluation thereof, while promoting the interests of the researchers registered as users of the company’s services. Peerage of Science was the winner of the 2012 Award for Publishing Innovation from The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), and of the 2013 recognition award from Communications Professionals of Finnish Universities.
Differences to traditional peer review
Peerage of Science has introduced or adopted several practices that differ from the traditional approaches to academic peer review and submissions.
Author control over deadlines
Upon uploading their manuscript to Peerage of Science, authors must define four deadlines, one for each stage of the peer review process:
- Deadline for sending peer reviews
- Deadline for peer-review-of-peer-review, the reciprocal judging and scoring of the accuracy and justifiability of peer reviews
- Deadline for sending the revised manuscript
- Deadline for final evaluation of the revised manuscript
During the process, the deadlines are automatically enforced.
Instead of being limited to peers appointed by an editor, peer reviewers in Peerage of Science choose themselves what they want to review. This means that the process may terminate at first deadline if there are no willing peer reviewers, or it may attract many more reviewers than the standard two. According to Peerage of Science, the current average is 2.4 reviewers per manuscript, while some have attracted up to eight.
Any user, including the authors themselves, can recommend a reviewer for a manuscript. However, peers from the same institutions as authors, and peers who have co-authored articles with authors within the last three years, are automatically excluded and can not peer review the manuscript.
The motivation to participate as a peer reviewer in Peerage of Science stems from a reputation system where the quality of the reviewing work is judged and scored by other users, and contributes to user's profile. Evaluation of other peer reviewers is an additional task for participating academics, but one that most appear to be eager to take: while other stages are completed typically just before a deadline, the judging task is on average completed in just a few days.
Journals participating in Peerage of Science's The Select -option have concurrent access to all peer review processes. Editors are free to make publishing offers to authors at any time, and authors are free to choose whether to accept or decline the offers. Journals participating in Peerage of Science's The Connect -option have access to a process if authors choose to submit there. In both cases, the same peer reviews are used by several journals, instead of being discarded at the event of rejection from one journal.
The company's services are free for scientists, and it does not pay peer reviewers. Publishers or societies owning participating journals pay for usage of the service. Peerage of Science has established such contracts with e.g. Springer,, Taylor & Francis, BioMed Central, PLOS and Brill.