Enabling the new peer review

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:

How does it work?

  1. First, you read someone's paper.
  2. Next, write a review. (The review is just a simple text file that contains a few scores and your opinions about the paper.)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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