Meet the world’s top peer reviewer

Jonas is a machine Ranstam peer review.

Ranstam, a medical physicist in Sweden, reviewed 661 papers in 16 scientific fields between October 1, 2015 and September 17 of this year – almost two per day during that period


One more year, as production could have won Ranstam maybe one or two notes of thanks from magazines whose editors served. Today, however, put a little more -. The title of top reviewer world

The article continues after the announcement

The opening Science Sentinel awards are Publons creating a UK company that wants to give the peer a little brighter than shown by the contributions of employees. Publons created the awards “in honor of expert reviewers and editors who keep watch on the quality of research, and carry the burden of a better, faster science.”

This is a positive sign. The peer reviewers are almost fully compensated and usually anonymous but also play a crucial role in the process of self-correction of science. In recent years, more magazines are experimenting with ways to recognize these more prominent volunteers.

The financial component of the Award Publons is modest. A pot of $ 2,250 Ranstam receive $ 250, with a bonus of $ 1,000 to publish a magazine distributed by Thieme, a publisher of open access. On the publisher side, the award went to Jose Florencio Lapeña, a surgeon head and pediatric neck at the University of the Philippines who, as editor of the magazine and a member of some editorial boards, handles most of the documents during the year. Lapeña receive $ 100 in cash and a credit of $ 200 with Wiley.

Publons also digital awards “badges” to employees who earn a certain level of points “merit” through their opinions; those points can come from publishing the content of your review, or to have their opinions up-voted.


counts come from a kind of system of report-and-Verify. Researchers register for Publons, and add records to review their profiles on the site. Publons then works with publishers to verify that they were actually made as claimed. Only verified reviews were counted in the awards ceremony, Publons says.

Part of the prolific production of Ranstam may owe their current professional circumstances. Ranstam, who left a position at the University of Lund several years ago to work as an independent statistician, said he makes his review in the morning, then spend the afternoon on their own projects. “I often work in the afternoon and usually on Saturdays, but this is a structure that me and my wife suit. My salary is lower, but my quality of life much higher.”

This flexibility means Ranstam can spend more time on what has been long considered a crucial part of the scientific process. At the same time, it concerned that unite economic and social benefit to praise the process could dilute the quality reviews in the long run. In fact, rewarding quantity can meet the needs in the short term, but long term is dangerous.

“I think it is increasingly difficult to find employees for the growing number of manuscripts submitted and that employees award can be a way to increase interest in review. This, of course, be good if successful , “said Ranstam STAT. “Moreover, it is well known that rewards change motivation, and this could perhaps be bad. Voluntary contributions are especially valuable. Will opinions of collaborators pressured review by the competition with their colleagues have the same quality and relevance? “

Publons is not the only one trying to find ways of collaborators hat-tipping. The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association, have been issuing thanks to reviewers for years. Elsevier start recognition of those who receive time-critical . The magazine Collabra is making money on the recognition, making small payments to authors and publishers, either in cash or credits for future publication rates. And the editor of the UK Veruscript says he will pay his employees, too.

AND alignment inaugural awards Publons has some deficiencies. Although the list of sentinels is international, which is plagued by an alarming lack of gender diversity. Publons tells us not collected data on gender, but on our own, only 1 of the 44 winners named Ana-Maria Florea a cell biologist in Germany, is a woman. Either because men are overrepresented in Publons, between reviewers, or both, we’re not sure, but it sure would be good to recognize more women to the revisions made.

To Ranstam – and presumably other high-volume critical – although recognition of the efforts is rewarding, the process has its own rewards. Ranstam says read every article is a good way to stay up in the literature and maintain their own skills sharp. “And it may seem strange, but to understand the underlying causes or reasons of poor methodological interpretation, and trying to explain this to the author, is developing personally. It would have been much better speaker 20 years ago, if you had now had the experience review that I have now. ”

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