Peerage of Science, a new online social network for researchers, seeks to change the peer review system, reports ScienceInsider's Jop de Vrieze. Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä and at the University of Eastern Finland have launched the Web site, which de Vrieze says "could eventually replace or supplement the current way journals get scientists to peer review submitted manuscripts." Once researchers submit their manuscripts, members who have volunteered to review papers are alerted to those submissions, based on their areas of expertise. Once the volunteers have reviewed the papers, journals can then use those assessments to decide whether to publish the research, de Vrieze says. To prevent bias, researchers are not allowed to review papers written by their colleagues at the same institution.
Science's de Vrieze notes that "the current peer review system … is hotly debated."
Peerage of Science, he adds, "aims to combine these ideas."