In a discussion at Nature Network about the desirability, or otherwise, of developing a set of metrics to measure individual value, Roberto Cerbino suggests that an interesting factor for an experiment is peer-reviewing activity. Some journals already publish at the end of the year the list of names of reviewers. Perhaps, he writes, they could add some quantitative factor such as the number of papers reviewed or an evaluation index of the reviewer’s work? This would be a small but useful step to assess the contributions of individuals to their fields of activity.
Raf Aerts disagrees, cautions that researchers could accept as many review requests as possible to increase their r-factor, including manuscripts that are not really in their field of expertise.
Thomas Lemberger, EMBO editor of Molecular Systems Biology, on the other hand, points out that a simple ranking of referees could be based on combining frequency of review with speed: referees who review frequently and fast (which he calls the FF-metric) for a given journal are likely to be good referees, at least within the field covered by the journal.