"Incentivizing Anonymous 'Peer-to-Peer' Reviews" P. Venkitasubramaniam and A. Sahai 47th Annual Allerton Conference on Communications, Control, and Computing, Monticello, IL, Sep. 2008.
The review cycle for papers takes way too long in many disciplines. The problem is that while authors want to have their own papers reviewed fast, that are often unwilling to review the papers of others in a timely manner. This paper explores what would be required to incentivize fast reviews using a public reputation/scoring system that exploits the fact that the referees are drawn from the same pool as paper authors. The challenge in maintaining a public reputation system is to ensure that the identity of referees remain as anonymous as possible. A model is proposed in this work, wherein authors have an incentive to commit to reviewing papers and are rewarded for meeting this commitment in a manner that prioritizes their own papers for reviews. This ensures stability (bounded reviewing delays) for all fair contributors while freeloaders face a potentially unstable system. A naive implementation of the scoring system, however, leaks information that would allow authors to infer the likely identities of their referees. A distortion to the observed public score process is then studied, which is shown to enhance anonymity while preserving the incentives for timely refereeing.