Should we pay reviewers for their work?

by Thomas Arildsen

I have previously discussed paying reviewers for their work. Although that was in the slightly different context of attracting reviewers for open post-publication peer review, a new open access journal is now introducing this idea in their workflow:

They do this by assigning reviewers and editors points for each paper they handle. A part of the APC of accepted papers goes into a pool and the accumulated points are then used as a basis of distribution to determine how large a bite of the cake each individual is payed. Editors and reviewers may then choose to keep the money, give the money back to the journal’s APC waiver pool, or donate it to their own university’s open access payments.

The journal has taken steps to ensure that this does not lead to inflation in the number of accepted papers just to earn points; editors and reviewers are assigned points for handling papers regardless of whether they are eventually accepted. Another IMO appealing feature of the journal is that reviews can be open if both authors and reviewers agree to this.

I am looking forward to seeing how this goes…