From the capacious open source code vaults at Google, here is an interesting application called gpeerreview. It allows irrepudiably sourced reviews of any publication. In their own words:
- First, you read someone's paper.
- Next, write a review. (The review is just a simple text file that contains a few scores and your opinions about the paper.)
- Use GPeerReview to sign the review. (It will add a hash of the paper to your review, then it will use GPG to digitally sign the review.)
- Send the signed review to the author. If the author likes the review, he/she will include it with his/her list of published works.
- Prospective employers or other persons can easily verify that the reviews are valid.
- Peer reviews give credibility to an author's work.
- Journals and conferences can use this tool to indicate acceptance of a paper.
- Researchers can also give credibility to each other by reviewing each others' works.
- This enables researchers to publish first, and review later.
- It meshes seamlessly with existing publication venues. Even the credibility of works that have already been published can be enhanced by obtaining additional peer reviews.
- A decentralized social-network of reviewers and papers is naturally formed by this process. The structure of this network reflects that of the research community.
This is a nice idea and if paired with the right social networking web infrastructure, could make for a nice peer view community. More evidence of the growing search for alternative modes of publication and peer review.