Referee nomination improved

To offer our journal editors a better service and an improved experience in our online system, we have significantly improved the referee nomination tool in our review system Copernicus Office Editor.

The nomination of referees and the successful assignment to preprints and journal articles have always been crucial steps in the peer-review process of our journals. Reviewer capacities are limited and it is our common goal to increase the efficiency of the nomination process while minimizing the burden on our reviewing colleagues from the scientific community. We are therefore glad to present, as of today, the following features:

  1. Look & feel: the referee nomination and the nomination refinement forms have been refurbished and transferred to the Bootstrap framework we have applied over the past years whenever we refactored any user interfaces.
  2. Recently nominated referees: the listing of referees already nominated for a given manuscript has been improved and prominently shows the current status (e.g., report submitted, report pending, nomination pending, nomination declined, deadline missed) as well as quick re-nomination options.
  3. NEW – cREACTS: based on the individual activity in the last 12 months of the referees in our database matching a given manuscript's subject areas, and considering #manuscripts assigned, #reports submitted, #nominations received, and #nominations declined, the Copernicus Referee Activity Score (cREACTS) estimates the likelihood of a potential referee to accept a nomination.
  4. NEW – Prophy Referee Finder: utilizing Prophy Inc.'s collection of 120M+ articles, they automatically create profiles for every scientist, and rank them according to their semantic similarity to a newly submitted manuscript. Upon review file upload, Copernicus transmits the manuscript PDF to Prophy for semantic analysis. Thereby, NDAs and an absolute limitation of the transmitted information secure a confidential and GDPR-compliant handling. Prophy returns potential referees and Copernicus filters out the co-authors. The remaining list is presented to editors for nomination.
  5. NEW – Copernicus referee database: while active referees of a given manuscript subject area show higher likelihoods for positive replies and thereby appear in the section cREACTS, newbies in our referee database without reviewing activities in our system are often overlooked and poorly ranked, but very enthusiastic and open to nominations. Such colleagues, often early career scientists, can be found in this section.
  6. Well-established tools: selections from author suggestions (journal option) and nominated referees of former manuscript versions, as well as custom nominations rounding up the options for editors to identify candidates for referee nomination.
  7. Nomination refinement: once candidates for referee nomination have been identified, the referee refinement has allowed editors to either immediately send out the nomination email or define subsequent calls. As a third option, we now also allow the status hold for later to keep the candidates in the editor's reserve list without yet defining the time of the call. The combination of immediate calls, subsequent calls, and manual activation of calls held for later is meant to allow our editors much more flexibility.

We are very much aware of our privilege that such a high number of engaged colleagues from all around the world volunteer every day to edit, review, and comment on preprints and manuscript under review. We are very grateful for these very pleasant collaborations and would like to take the opportunity to thank everybody involved very much. Your contributions to our journals are highly appreciated.

Different from the vast majority of scientific publishing houses, Copernicus Publications launched its own, inhouse-developed online service Copernicus Office (CO) in 2008. The module CO Editor thereby serves as the reviewing, information, and exchange system for authors, editors, and referees from submission to final decision. All online tools are combined with a very personal support by Copernicus' staff members. Promoting scientific work is our focus. Serving those dedicated to science is our passion. Experience more and take a look.