Sunday, August 25, 2019

Finding potential reviewers using Scholia

First, if you like to learn more about Scholia, check this list of previous posts.

Now, yesterday I had to invite reviewers for a submission to the Journal of Cheminformatics. This can be hard, and is harder when more authors are involved, from multiple institutes. Existing tools by publishers (including SpringerNature) do not exceed in detecting possible CoIs. In fact, they already have trouble finding authors with expert knowledge. This is where I come in. But it's easy to overlook possible CoI. Anecdotally, I once send our a review request by accident to a reviewer sitting in the same corridor.

So, I want safety checks. The more, the better. Same institute/city? Better not. Published together in the past three years? Maybe. Currently collaborating? No one checks joined grants. Seriously, we rely on honesty from the reviewers (though open peer review would encourage that honesty even a bit more). But FAIR data can help us here. This is, for example, one reason why I am happy the journal now requires ORCIDs for all authors of a manuscript (see doi:10.1186/s13321-019-0365-4).

Finding potential reviewers using Scholia: a recipe
(orginally published as this twitter thread)

So, I have a set of author ORCIDs of a submitted manuscript, and a list of potential reviewers... how do I know if any two on the two lists have recently worked/published together. First, I can make a WDQS query like to get the items for the ORCIDs (for a published article, not the submission):

I can extend this query to look up and summarize these authors in #Scholia with this query,

This Scholia links shows this page:

This Scholia page immediately shows me which articles these authors wrote together. I can now just add the Wikidata QID of the prospective reviewer and see what and when they co-authors... let's say I have Noel O'Boyle in mind as reviewer, I add ",Q28540731" to the Scholia URL and get,Q32565639,Q57415846,Q28540731:

I immediately see that Noel has not published together with the authors of this manuscript. Of course, I have to realize that Wikidata/Wikicite is not complete, but at least gives me some extra safety check. Second, this also does not take into account if they work at the same institute, or have an academic history, as @Ben_C_J mentioned. It also ignores that Noel works at a company collaborating with PubChem, the project of the authors. For that, a different query approach is needed.

A final note, everyone can check if they are in Wikidata with this Scholia URL pattern:${ORCID} where you replace the last bit with some ORCID, e.g. for me:

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