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SAGE Publishing makes investment in Publons, the peer review innovators with a mission to speed up science

January 19, 2016

Los Angeles, CA. SAGE Publishing, a leading independent academic publisher of journals, books, and digital media, today announces that it has led an investment round for a minority stake in Publons with additional participation by existing investors. Known for its mission to use peer review to speed up science, Publons will remain completely independent and publisher-neutral following this investment, allowing for continued participation from other parties.

Established in 2013, Publons partners with publishers and other institutions to formally recognize the value of reviews and to give credit to reviewers by treating reviews as a measureable research output. Their website (publons.com) provides a forum to learn more about researchers and research through the lens of both pre- and post-publication peer review. This investment will provide Publons with the resources to expand their team with a focus on improving the product, integrating with more journals, and building a sustainable business.

SAGE’s investment reflects a commitment to exploring new ways of supporting robust, efficient science. The investment follows SAGE's 2014 investment in PeerJ, in line with SAGE's intent to continue to invest in the space.

"At SAGE Publishing, we are dedicated to supporting the growth of academic innovators who think outside-the-box to improve scholarship – even when their influence disrupts long-established practices,” commented David McCune, SAGE Publishing shareholder and Deputy Executive Chairman SAGE Publishing. “Peer review is a pillar of the scholarly process and fundamental for the creation of scholarly knowledge, yet reviewing efforts often go unrecognized. Publons’ work is an integral part in helping to not only make the debate around scientific research more open, but also key to helping formalize the idea of debate through reputational incentive. Engaging debates on peer review and encouraging increased openness around innovative scholarly issues is an important endeavor. We see Publon’s work as an important missing piece in our academic publishing industry, and its product is one that will benefit SAGE and all publishers as well as the entire academic community.”

With this announcement, David will become a member of the Publons board with no operational control or involvement, bringing with him 30+ years of experience in the publishing industry.

"We're excited to have the support of SAGE and David McCune as we continue on our mission to speed up science by harnessing the power of peer review,” commented Andrew Preston, CEO of Publons. “As Publons has grown, David and I have spent many hours discussing our ideas for the future of academic publishing. I know we are closely aligned both on our vision and on our desire for Publons to be a publisher neutral business that provides value to the whole industry. I look forward to applying his knowledge further.”

Publons is continuously expanding to include new partnerships with journals, publishers, and third party services. SAGE and Publons entered a pilot partnership in May of 2015, allowing SAGE to formally give credit to the reviewers of its journals by automatically adding their work to Publons profiles.

Publons has grown to fully integrate with more than 100 journals and has reviews from more than 10,000 journals. In 2015, reviewers added approximately 1% of the world's reviews to Publons, which now possesses more than a quarter of a million peer reviews covering most journals and fields.

More information about Publons for Researchers and Publishers can be found at the included links.

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Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 900 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. A growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne. www.sagepublishing.com

Publons mission is to speed up science by making peer review faster, more efficient, and more effective. Publons works with reviewers, publishers, universities, and funding agencies to turn peer review into a measurable research output. Specifically, Publons collects peer review information from reviewers and from publishers, and produces comprehensive reviewer profiles with publisher-verified peer review contributions that researchers can add to their resume and use to showcase their expertise. Publons for researchers (https://publons.com) and publishers (https://publons.com/partner/

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