Can Someone Explain Publons to Me?

Publons is a website, where you can show off how many peer reviews you have completed and in which journal. It’s been around for a while, but since it’s (not all that) recent acquisition by Clarivate, I see it increasingly advertised by publishers. I struggle to understand the point of Publons. It would allow me to demonstrate to the world that I’m an active member of the research community and review journal articles (books, projects, I don’t know if Publons handles these). I get this.

But doesn’t it encourage bean counting, where more reviews somehow matter more than better reviews, where you hope gaining clout by the fact that the journal that invited you has a high impact factor, which somehow might indicate that you have the calibre of the work published there (while mistaking impact factor as a sign of quality), or where what can be counted (number of reviews) is ‘worth’ more than what cannot (e.g. organizing a graduate school, teaching)? Is it just a way to ‘gamify’ peer review, but to what end?

Seriously, can someone explain Publons to me?

3 Replies to “Can Someone Explain Publons to Me?”

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