Reviewer Credits was born in 2016 from the idea and the friendship of two Early Career Researchers (ECRs), Giacomo Bellani and Robert Fruscio, who at the time contributed to scientific research by participating in the peer review process, like millions of scientists worldwide. In the course of their experience as Peer Reviewers, they found themselves faced with the lack of acknowledgement and rewarding for peer review — although peer review is a crucial phase in the publication process for Scientific Journals and Publishers.
However, relying only on a voluntary but not recognized effort has led to two major consequences:
while established Journals with higher Impact Factor have their own pool of trusted reviewers, many other Journals struggle to find available scientists for peer review.
because Peer Reviewers work for free, they are often not motivated to meet the expected deadlines, and the overall quality of their evaluation relies only on individual integrity and cannot be evaluated. Obviously, this leads to heavy delays in the publication cycle and decreases the efficiency and effectiveness of the system.
It is clear that Scientific Editors, Journals and Publishers would benefit from a sustainable rewarding system for Peer Reviewers. Reviewers will be more motivated to accept invitations and provide excellent reports, while Editors will be in the position to select the best Peer Reviewers and not just those who happen to be available.
With this in mind, one night of February 2016 Giacomo and Robert spent many hours envisioning their goals, how the platform should look like, how it should run… That night they registered the domain reviewercredits.com and in the following months, together with a small software company called Joins, they introduced the peer review certification and the first virtual credit system in the academic field.
Today, Reviewer Credits is a full independent platform, not belonging to any publishing group, that certifies and rewards the work of Peer Reviewers, offering them, Journals and Publishers a series of free and subscription services.
in 2022, Sven Fund took responsibility for Reviewer Credits, convinced that peer review has to be part of the academic record, and that there need to be ways for journals to legitimately and ethically reward academics carrying out the community service of peer review.