The uncertainty of publishing in academic journals: Publish or Perish

Publishing Jun 17, 2019

No one enjoys waiting. Almost everyone has been in a medical or public administration office waiting room, and we all have been frustrated by long wait times. Now, imagine that your career depends heavily on a process that is normally slow and keeps you waiting for months... Academics and researchers are facing this problem firsthand.

The pressure of publishing in the academic world

“Publish or perish” is well known to academics. It means that you have to continually publish original research to progress in your career. Sometimes, it is even a requirement at many universities to keep the job. Academic and research institutions can use publishing rates to decide who will be granted a permanent position.

As you can imagine, the pressure to publish can be very high. Unfortunately, getting published is becoming very difficult. Researchers have to wait several months or even years to see their work published. It is not surprising that publication delay is the top concern for authors.

But why is the process slow?

Science is part of our daily lives, from cooking and gardening to recycling and driving to the grocery shop, to using a computer and reading news in your mobile. Science is improving the way we live, communicate, and work. In fields like medicine, scientists manage to grow organs in laboratories today.

This is why it is important to have a quality control system in the scientific literature. This process is called peer review. Reviewers and editors work hard to ensure that only sound research is published. But the workflow is not efficient and can cause significant publication delays.

One of the main problems is that publishers struggle to find reviewers. They receive more and more papers every year but it is becoming very difficult to find the right reviewers. 75% of journal editors say that “finding reviewers and getting them to accept review invitations” is the hardest part of their job.

There are multiple reasons but a key one is the lack of incentives for reviewers. Most reviewers agree that greater recognition and career incentives to peer review would have a positive impact on the overall efficacy of the peer review process. What about economic incentives? While some scientific publishers routinely report profit margins approaching 40% on their operations, economic incentives for reviewers are extremely rare.

Connecting with trusted reviewers

Orvium is the web platform that connects researchers and publishers with trusted reviewers to accelerate publishing along with a fair and incentivized peer review.

  • Reduce publication time: By establishing direct access to a verified community of reviewers, presenting flexible mechanisms to incentivize researchers, and providing easy to use tools to manage all the process.
  • Increase quality and transparency: By keeping track of all the activity that happens in the paper and the publication life-cycle. We use blockchain technologies to establish an independent, decentralized and immutable time-stamped proof of what is happening in the publication process.
  • Incentivize reviewers: By doing peer reviews and increasing your reputation you will start gaining more privileges and rewards in the platform. We have several reputation levels to define some unique things that you could do in Orvium.

When will it be available?

Good news! We have already released our platform! Academics and researchers can submit their papers to Orvium and send it to peer review. We have also integrated our platform with the blockchain and it is possible to proof of stamp your work in the blockchain and incentivize reviewers with tokens. We keep adding features every month, stay tuned :)

If you are a researcher or publisher interested in our platform you can visit us at and contact us by email or social media channels.

Orvium platform

About us

Manuel Martin, Antonio Romero, and Roberto Rabasco are the founding team behind Orvium. Together they have 20 years of experience working in research for CERN, one of the largest research laboratories in the world, and many years working for leading technology companies like Volkswagen, Just Eat and ASOS.


Antonio Romero

Led several big-data and ML projects for the R&D between CERN and multiple ICT market-leaders. His work accelerating predictive-maintenance and machine-learning solutions at CERN