At ReviewerCredits, our certification policies encompass two critical areas: Personal Data Protection and Peer Review Data Certification. We’re dedicated to upholding the highest standards of data protection in compliance with GDPR, ensuring that personal data is handled responsibly and in line with individual rights. Simultaneously, we’ve set forth rigorous guidelines for certifying peer review data, promoting transparency and ethical conduct in the scientific community. These policies are fundamental to our mission of empowering and supporting researchers worldwide.
Personal Data Protection Policy
Peer Review Data Certification Policy
ReviewerCredits provides recognition and certification that a peer review was performed by a given individual for a given journal, and does not take any role in evaluating or endorsing Journals’ editorial or ethical policies.
Manual Peer Review Data Registration by a Peer Reviewer When peer review data are registered manually in our system by a Peer Reviewer, we contact the Journal’s editor or editorial office to obtain confirmation of the entry. This process is relevant in order to:
- Create a reliable and traceable history of activity performed by Peer Reviewer, that will be included in our Peer Review Certificate
- Assign credits to Peer Reviewer, redeemable in our Reward Center
Bulk Peer Review Data Registration by a Journal When peer review data are registered manually in our system by a Journal (e.g. through CSV upload), we contact the Peer Reviewers to ask confirmation and provide credits and certification. This process is relevant in order to:
- Verify that Peer Review data provided by the journals are reliable. These will be included in our Peer Review Certificate and Gender, ORCID iD and Regional Distribution of peer reviewers
- Assign credits to Peer Reviewers, redeemable in our Reward Center
Automated Peer Review Data Registration by a Journal We provide APIs to allow automated transfer of peer review data from a Journal manuscript platform to our database. APIs are available for Journals using Editorial Manager, OJS – Open Journal Systems or ARPHA by Pensoft. From these platforms we receive all the data necessary to disambiguate records and avoid duplication of entries from multiple sources.
Other third parties (e.g. ORCID) do not transfer the data necessary for disambiguation (e.g. Manuscript ID so as the exact date of peer review completion), we might not be able to disambiguate these records from those deriving from other sources.
For this reason, in order to avoid the risk of duplication, we will follow this policy: for the same journal we will import from third parties (e.g. ORCID) only peer review records with a different year of completion. Analogously, we do not transfer to third parties (e.g. ORCID) a peer review record if for the same journal there’s already a peer review record with the same year of completion.
As a consequence, the presence of even only one peer review record in our database will prevent the import of all the records from the same journal with the same year of completion. We are working to a model that let us improve the disambiguation of peer review data imported.
In addition, when a Journal ISSN coming from third parties doesn’t match with our data, the Journal Title may be replaced with the Journal ISSN in the Reviewer profile.
Peer reviews imported from ORCID will be indexed and included in Reviewer Certificate and Journal Certificate. But these will not assign credits to Peer Reviewers. Metadata of peer reviews imported from ORCID cannot be changed.
Why we don’t accept a “Thank you for reviewing” email, that Journals send to Peer Reviewers, as a proof that it has effectively been performed.
- The “thank you” mail is a simple text email and can be easily edited, changing date, name of the Journal and the manuscript ID. We are looking for a real, solid and strong certification of peer reviewers activity, therefore we cannot accept something so easily manipulated.
- We are very respectful of the privacy of Peer Reviewers, especially in the cases of double-blind/single-blind peer review. The “thank you” mail usually contains the name of the Authors and the title of the manuscript reviewed. This is unacceptable to us. Peer reviewers that claim a review on our platform are only asked to indicate the manuscript ID, and not the title.
- We aim to achieve an active involvement of Journals in the certification process of a work that scientists do for free.
Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers
We are highly committed to the highest ethical standards to contribute towards a reliable publishing environment.
As associate corporate member of COPE, we fully share their codes of conduct for the ethical behaviour of Authors, Reviewers, Editors, Journals, Publishers and members of the Editorial Boards. We expect Reviewers and Journals registered for our services to perform their activities following the ethical recommendations from COPE.
Becoming a Peer Reviewer means joining a community of experts who assess each other’s work. Peer review can be a demanding task, requiring skills, competence and time. While reviewing carries heavy responsibilities, it also gives significant benefits by enabling reviewers to see what others are doing and thinking, long before that information is published by Scientific Journals. It does not provide immediate benefits: however, as a member of the scientific community, Peer Reviewers feel the duty to contribute to fairness and integrity in scientific research. Their contribution is of immense value.
COPE has developed Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers and we encourage our registered Peer Reviewers to follow them so to adopt the most ethical approach to all reviews they claim, with specific reference to the following points:
- Perform a review personally, if you are competent on the subject, do not have conflict of interest and have the time to dedicate to it, avoiding to engage junior colleagues without permission from the Editor
- Inform the editors if you are working on similar topics or if you work at the same institution of the authors
- Perform your review confidentially, returning fair, polite and constructive comments within the allocated time
- Share with the editor potential ethical issues confidentially
Ethical Guidelines for Journals and Publishers
One of our aims is to certify the peer review process of all registered Journals or of Journals for which a registered Peer Reviewer has claimed a review. This occurs when a Journal’s editor or editorial office confirms that a peer review has effectively been performed. We have created an automated process to assign credits to registered Peer Reviewers, which is based on the confirmation by Journals.
This confirmation is a firm assessment of the quality and efficiency of the peer review process, performed thanks to the collaboration of Peer Reviewers, so as of Publishers, Journals and Editors: their role is crucial for the dissemination of scientific contents and must have clear publishing policies in place, to ensure fair and effective handling of ethical cases.
As member of COPE – Committee on Publication Ethics, we recommend that Publishers, Journals and Editors adopt COPE’s Core Practices, which provide guidelines on the ethical approach to scientific publication. We ensure that our registered Journals and Publishers adopt an ethical approach to publication, with specific reference to the following points:
- The peer review model and process must be clearly identified in the Journal website in an appropriate peer review policy, including a triage process which may result in submissions being rejected without peer review
- Peer reviewers are required to disclose conflicts of interest when invited to review an article
- Reviewers are supplied with guidance on their role and responsibilities, including how to report on potential ethical misconduct
- Guidelines are supplied to the peer reviewer with regards to deadlines
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