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PiePlate: Proposing a visual peer-review overlay service

Arthur Boston

This is a proposal for a concept called PiePlate, a digital icon to displays the current state of peer-review facets that have been assessed on a research paper. The “peer-reviewed” stamp often serves as a crude quality filter, offering only the binary option of peer-reviewed and not peer-reviewed. PiePlate would give readers more peer review-based options for understanding the merits of a paper, regardless of where or how (or if) a paper was published. PiePlate enables reviewers to contribute an assessment on any single facet, which may be especially useful when a reviewer’s skill set can be applied toward one area of a paper, but not to the others. Two major areas of work are needed to bring this project together: i.) decoupling peer-review into a standardized taxonomy of checks (facets), and ii.) building a system to collect and display appropriate groupings of these facets per paper. This paper includes a summary of need, key precedents, a description of the basic design and functionality of PiePlate, incentives for users, and some other incentives and benefits, such as citing peer-reviewers.

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