Despite being a key part of the scientific research enterprise, being an anonymous peer reviewer is an unappreciated task, the Economist writes.
In theory, peer review keeps researchers on their toes and ensures that published science is of good quality, it adds, noting that reality does not always live up to that ideal. But, according to the Economist, a company called Publons is hoping to shake up the field and add a bit of prestige into peer review.
In particular, Publons enables researchers who sign up to track and quantify the papers they review and gives reviews their own identifiable DOI, the Economist says. The company hopes that reviewers will then boast of their contributions on their CVs and that funding agencies and research institutions take scientists' review activity into account when making funding and employment decisions.
The company also says that their approach could give researchers an extra incentive to review papers, even after they are published, and combat review fraud. At the same time, Publons hopes to offer a stable of tried-and-true reviewers to harried journal editors, for a fee, the Economist adds.