Scientific publishing seems to be at a turning point. Its paradigm has stayed basically the same for 300 years but is now challenged by the increasing volume of articles that makes it very hard for scientists to stay up to date in their respective fields. In fact, many have pointed out serious flaws of current scientific publishing practices, including the lack of accuracy and efficiency of the reviewing process. To address some of these problems, we apply here the general principles of the Web and the Semantic Web to scientific publishing, focusing on the reviewing process. We want to determine if a fine-grained model of the scientific publishing workflow can help us make the reviewing processes better organized and more accurate, by ensuring that review comments are created with formal links and semantics from the start. Our contributions include a novel model called Linkflows that allows for such detailed and semantically rich representations of reviews and the reviewing processes.We evaluate our approach on a manually curated dataset from several recent Computer Science journals and conferences that come with open peer reviews. We gathered ground-truth data by contacting the original reviewers and asking them to categorize their own review comments according to our model. Comparing this ground truth to answers provided by model experts, peers, and automated techniques confirms that our approach of formally capturing the reviewers’ intentions from the start prevents substantial discrepancies compared to when this information is later extracted from the plain-text comments. In general, our analysis shows that our model is well understood and easy to apply, and it revealed the semantic properties of such review comments.

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International Conference on Knowledge Capture
Human-Centered Data Analytics

Bucur, C.-I., Kuhn, T., & Ceolin, D. (2019). Peer reviewing revisited: Assessing research with interlinked semantic comments. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Knowledge Capture (pp. 179–187). doi:10.1145/3360901.3364434