Publons, the online network of peer reviewers, has launched the Publons Academy: a free, practical peer review training course aimed at speeding up scholarly communication and improving researcher development.
The Publons Academy is a comprehensive online course developed together with researchers, peer reviewers, journal editors and Nobel Laureates. It enables new academics to practice and master the core competencies and skills of peer review and connect with editors in their field.
Participants learn the critical stages of peer review in 10 modules and practice writing actual reviews of papers published in their field. Their chosen supervisor mentors them through the course and endorses their skills upon completion. Graduates then benefit from an extensive network of peer reviewers and editors at elite journals. Their peer review activity becomes visible on their Publons profile, and thousands of journal editors looking for reviewers are alerted.
The course is aimed at teaching the next generation of experts to guard research against dubious data and false findings; connects them with journal editors to demonstrate their subject-matter expertise; and helps them reap the benefits of peer review to advance their career.
Simultaneously, Publons says, the Academy builds a larger, better educated pool of active reviewers whom editors can find, screen, contact, endorse and motivate using various features available on the Publons platform. This enhanced connection and communication between reviewer and editor is desperately needed to speed up scholarly communication and improve researcher development.
Higher Education Institutions can also benefit from a partner version of the Publons Academy as the course can be incorporated into their researcher development plans. The University of Glasgow, UK, and the University of Queensland, Australia, are among the first institutions to roll out the Academy to all their researchers.
Publons co-founder and CEO Andrew Preston said: 'We’re really pleased to see so many researchers pre-enrolled in the course and it being rolled out across institutions worldwide. Being an active peer reviewer is a phenomenal asset – for researchers and research itself.
'Graduates of the Publons Academy will gain the skills and connections needed to break into the world of peer review and further demonstrate their expertise to the world. At the same time, the Academy will build the next generation of subject-matter experts desperately needed to scrutinise research and deliver it to the world.'
Publons says around 1,000 academics have already pre-enrolled to start the course. Participants include university professors to cardiologists starting out their career, and will be connected with editors from more than 1,250 journals formally integrated with Publons from publishers including: Wiley, Sage, Taylor & Francis, Springer Nature, and Cambridge University Press.