Ergonaut – Peer Review on Rails
Adhering to the "Do One Thing Well" philosophy, Ergonaut is designed specifically for keeping the peer review process running smoothly. To that end it is:
- simple, attractive, and easy to use,
- zealous about reminding referees and editors to keep things on schedule, and
- strictly a peer review system. Unlike OJS, a publication platform is not included.
Also unlike OJS, Ergonaut serves one journal per instance rather than share one database across many journals.
Two-Tiered Editorial Structure
There are two kinds of editors: managing editors and handling editors.
- Managing editors assign submissions to handling editors and, eventually, finalize their decisions.
- Handling editors read submissions, solicit referee reports, and submit their decisions for approval by the managing editors.
The peer review process is strictly anonymous to minimize bias.
- Handling editors are not shown authors' identities.
- Referees are not shown authors' identities.
- Authors are not shown referees' identities or the handling editor's identity.
Reminders & Notifications
Frequent email reminders and notifications keep everyone on task and on schedule.
- Referees are emailed when they fail to respond to a request for a review, when their review will be due soon, and when their review is overdue.
- Handling editors are emailed when a submission needs referees assigned, when a request for a review is accepted/declined, when a review is completed, and when a decision is overdue.
- Managing editors are emailed when a submission needs a handling editor assigned, and when a decision needs approval.
- Editors are cc'ed on all correspondence related to submissions they are responsible for (except for correspondence that would compromise the anonymity of the review process; see below).
Ergonaut keeps authors and referees informed about the statuses and fates of submissions they're involved with.
- Authors can track the activity on their submissions in detail:
- whether a handling editor has been assigned,
- when a referee is contacted,
- when and how they responded,
- when their report is due, and
- if/when their report is complete.
- Referee reports are shared among all referees who worked on a submission, once a decision is reached.
Statistics about the peer review process are publicly viewable in a detailed, graphical display. These include:
- Number of submissions per year, number of resubmissions, number of withdrawn submissions, etc.
- % of submissions rejected without external review, % rejected with external review, % accepted, etc.
- Average time to decision: for desk rejected submissions, for externally reviewed submissions, and for all submissions overall.
- Number of submissions in each topic (e.g. ethics, metaphysics, logic, etc.)