Move over peer review, there’s a new sheriff in town. PubPeer is an online community developed to encourage post-publication peer review and discussion. The site was started by a group of researchers frustrated with the closed-door, pre-publication peer review process – the intent being to improve research quality and transparency . Scientists can comment (comments are by default anonymous) on almost any scientific article published with a DOI, PubMed ID, or preprint in the arXiv. Searches can also be generated with key words or author names (it’s unclear if this search only yields those authors who have created an account). While anyone can search the site, only first and corresponding authors can create an account, which allows them to be notified of comments.
PubPeer has created a Google Chrome plug-in indicating which papers in PubMed have public comments.
PubPeer’s statement on anonymous comments: “Blind peer review has been employed by most major scientific publications in order to allow reviewers the ability to critically assess the work of their peers without fear of retaliations. We believe this to generally be a good system and would like to encourage it’s usage on PubPeer. ”
Science Podcast on PubPeer: Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks about the pros and cons of PubPeer anonymity
Dana Abbey, Health Information Literacy Coordinator