2021 is the fourth anniversary of Reviewercredits.com and we celebrate it by taking advantage of our journey so far, making a first “review” of what our goals have been, what we have achieved, and what our future goals are. All this by putting our users and our community always at the center of everything, since they are the “engine” of our platform: they are our most important value which has always been, is and will be pivotal for any strategy, evolution and optimization.
ReviewerCredits has created the reviewercredits.com web platform dedicated to certification, quantification and “virtual monetization” of the peer review process necessary to guarantee quality and rigor in the pre-publication phase articles in scholarly journals. Credibility and reputation has always been a central theme for Publishers, today even more felt in relation to the effects that the publications of non-peer reviewed articles and research on COVID-19 could have on the scientific community and humanity.
Let us start from when it all began and retrace together, briefly, the journey made so far and its main steps.
The (Early) Beginning
ReviewerCredits was born from the idea and the friendship of two Early Career Researchers (ECRs), Giacomo Bellani and Robert Fruscio, who while contributing to scientific research by participating in the peer review process, like millions of scientists worldwide, 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 Scholarly Journals and Publishers, relying only on a voluntary but not recognized effort lead 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, reviewers 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.
With this in mind, during 2016, Giacomo and Robert spent several hours envisioning their goals, how the platform should look like, how it should run and finally they registered the domain reviewercredits.com. Relying on a small software company, they introduced the peer review certification and the first virtual credit system in the academic field.
After all, the above mentioned “preliminary work”, 15th May 2017 ReviewerCredits S.r.l. was finally officially registered with the business register as a company, spin-off endorsed by the University of Milan-Bicocca, so that day can be considered as the official establishment date…like Rome, even ReviewerCredits wasn’t built in a day.
A 4 year long journey
What has been described so far was just the beginning, after which a four-year journey began, made up of stops and steps, several milestones additions and new horizons towards which to land.
In a nutshell, here are the main stages and milestones of the journey made to date:
- 1st February 2016 | Giacomo Bellani and Robert Fruscio register the domain reviewercredits.com
- 18th July 2016 | ReviewerCredits website is officially online
- 15th May 2017 | ReviewerCredits s.r.l. is founded as a spinoff company of the University of Milan Bicocca
- 19th April 2018 | Launch of the new feature of Conference Talks Database
- 1st February 2019 | Attribution of the seal of Innovative start-up
- 14th March 2019 | New brand identity, chosen by our Twitter followers, an example of community engagement and participatory strategy
- 16th May 2019 | Release of the Plugin for Open Journal Systems – OJS
- 16th – 20th October 2019 | ReviewerCredits exhibits at Frankfurter Buchmesse
- 4th March 2020 | Reviewer Credits becomes an ORCID Organization Member
- October 2020 | Reviewer Credits receives a convertible loan from the Intesa Sanpaolo Group through Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center
- 12th November 2020 | ReviewerCredits and Aries Systems partner to connect Peer Review Recognition Service with Editorial Manager
- 12th May 2021 | New Sync Reviews with ORCID feature available for all our registered Peer Reviewers
Vision and Mission
Being an innovative platform and independent company at the same time, is not always easy. As Sustainability and Reputation are very crucial issues in the scientific community – especially regarding the effect of non peer reviewed publications on research as well as on society – the Company’s Mission is to give value to the contribution that Scientists donate through peer review, offering them a trusted and sustainable system of rewarding and certification.
ReviewerCredits therefore responds to the needs of:
- enhancing the value of the contribution that scientists “donate” to science for the advancement of scientific research and culture
- contain the proliferation of non-certified and potentially “fake” articles which through publication in scholarly journals become accessible to all Scientists, in their capacity as reviewers in the peer review process, are not paid for this activity
ReviewerCredits‘ virtual credit system is currently the only one on the international market; the sustainability of the system is guaranteed by a paid business model for Publishers: the annual “fee” is broken down into different thresholds for the number of publications (Journals) published by each Publisher, geographical areas and different levels of service. The process is managed entirely online: from the subscription to the provision of credit through a reward center.
The founders, of medical-scientific background, were joined by Senior professionals in the field of Scientific Publishing, digital and business management (the team includes now): the platform is active and nowadays counts almost 11.000 registered profiles and more than 18.000 completed peer reviews.
ReviewerCredits’ ambition is to become the global platform for the certification and enhancement of peer review: once the model has been validated, it is necessary to scale to a global dimension and continue to add ancillary services for both reviewers and other reference subjects, such as for the Conference part.
The core values
When the two founders started ReviewerCredits in 2017, they knew exactly what they wanted: work hard to get peer review activities recognized and build a strong worldwide community of Peer Reviewers. Giacomo and Robert just acted in line with these principles, without writing them down as official company values. Some years later, the company felt the need to share a set of guiding principles and fundamental pillars to work together as a Team and within the scientific community.
The 4 guiding principles and pillars of ReviewerCredits are Trust, Humility, Kindness and Openness. Let’s see in detail what these 4 key values of consist of.
Science and Research are based on Trust. Without confidence in the Integrity of their peers, Scientists and Researchers would lack a foundation on which to build new work. And, as a consequence, Trust is the basis for everything we do too. We always try to keep our promises. To all our employees and all our stakeholders.
We’re not always right, as we don’t have all the answers. We want to learn from every feedback and mistakes, not being afraid to ask for help. All work is internally peer reviewed and represents the collective experience with our daily achievements and failures. As the publishing ecosystem is changing and evolving every day, we are constantly improving our services to better meet the needs of the Scientific Community.
For us, Kindness means humanity above all, means that we could do good work despite the constant challenges. Be able to identify with the user, to see things from the user perspective, to empathize with the end User experience. With one small act of Kindness at a time, everyone’s work will be valued.
In the relationships with our users and stakeholders, towards research and scientific community. We are convinced that Openness is essential to create value together, and we are open to actively listening to the people who use our platform and collaborating with Institutions, Repositories and other Organizations operating in the field of Scientific Communication and Academic Publishing.
Looking back at the past it has been very exciting but at the same time it provides us with new and further motivation to build our growth work together with our users and our community, to be able to celebrate further and greater successes in the future.