Automatic certificate for reviewers and authors

Describe the problesm you would like to solve
One of the burdens of the editorial management is to make certificates for reviewers and authors in the journal. In the days of fund and accreditation requests there is especially high activity of demanding certificates. Those are very important to find and maintain jobs in academia.
Clarivate knows it and bought Publons to make money out of this need of certification over certification.

Describe the solution you’d like
It could be a link (or a pdf) attached to the “thank you” email, or an additional button to send separatelly the certificate (optionally signed with the certificate of the web itself).

Besides, it can be added in the “users” area, as an option for the reviewers, like “make certificate”. I attach an example translated of a certificate of 22 revisions of someone in one of the seven journals I work with.

Additionally, authors are use to ask for certifications of accepted papers waiting for publishing (some papers wait almost a year and they need a prove it’s approved). I attach an example. Would be ideal to have it kind of automatic, (specially signed with the web’s certificate, if possible).

Who is asking for this feature?
Editors, editorial management, secretary…

Additional information
Note: It were discussed here: Reviewers Certificate - #2 by ajnyga and arrived to the conclusion to use a publons plugin.

But my invitations is to avoid Clariate Publons as a way of certificate and do it by our own public and open means.

Anonymous Examples of some of the hundreds of certificates I do for the journals I work for:



Since the text is very small, here is:

Example of certificate of reviewers:

Conxita Márquez Bargalló and Angel Gutiérrez Rodríguez, as editors of the journal Enseñanza de las Ciencias,


That XXXXXXXXX has participated as a reviewer of 21 articles in 2011 (2), 2014 (3), 2015 (2), 2016 (1), 2017 (3), 2018 (3), 2019 (2), 2020 (2), 2021 (1) and 2022 (2), for the international journal Enseñanza de las Ciencias (ISSN: 2174-6486 digital) indexed in JCR, Q4 (2021) (

This journal is published by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Universitat de València.

And for the record for the appropriate purposes and at the request of the person concerned, sign this document.

(Scanned sign of the editors)

Example of text of certificate for authors:

Conxita Márquez Bargalló and Angel Gutiérrez Rodríguez, as editors of the journal Enseñanza de las Ciencias,


That xxx, xxx and xxx are autors of the paper:


This article has been accepted for publication in Enseñanza de las Ciencias, ISSN (digital) 2174-6486, an international journal published by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Universitat de València (JCR Q4-2021,

Its assigned DOI, which will not be functional until it is published, is:

And for the record for the appropriate effects and at the request of the person concerned, sign the present document.

(Scanned sign of the editors)

Hi @fellipe.gestio,
the ORCID profile plugin allows to credit reviewers:

Maybe this is of help to you.



Thank you Felix,

It seems workful, but for my experience I would say that a lot of people are not “digital literate” enough to access orcid and to use it to present to the bureaucracy of evaluation.

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@felixhelix as far as I can see @Dulip_Withanage 's work (that is great, as usual) relies on ORCID services.
In the other hand, Felipe’s proposal is more about avoid third party dependencies and increase journal’s autonomy.

I didn’t check the plugin, but I suspect you won’t be able to use this without paying ORCID to use the API (and last time I checked, it means 5K every year).

Anyway, even for free… why sending data to ORCID, publons or whomever when it could be generated directly by OJS itself?

Probably, with all the work done by Dulip, we only need to generate the PDF (instead of calling ORCID’s api) and attach the certificate (not sure if the web one is a good idea) but looks like a feasible plugin that could save a lot of work to the community.


From my understanding, the ORCID plugin works when the reviewer has authenticated their ORCID id. So no fee is required from the journal.

There are short video walkthroughs that demonstrate the current implementation of reviewer credits in ORCID here: Reviewer Credits · Issue #181 · pkp/orcidProfile · GitHub

As a general rule, we prefer to rely on third-party services for such certifications because it is easy to spoof a record from a single journal. However, I know that some digital certificate (eg - a PDF) has been requested a lot.

Some of the questions that we would want answers to:

  1. When should a reviewer qualify for a certificate? When they submit a review? When an editor confirms a review? Or when an editor thanks the reviewer? (I suspect that there are a lot of submitted reviews that are incomplete or just have the editor saying “no I can’t do it”.)

  2. Are the signatures, as shown in your examples, an important part of the certificate?

  3. One of the certificate examples is for a published article. Presumably reviewers should receive credit for reviews on rejected articles?

Hello, Nate,

I would encourage to the community to try to use our own open tools in order to not being dependent of third party private and close-source software. I know sometimes is very difficult, but this is not the case. Also, it doesn’t solve the problem of how time consuming is to send certificate after certificate. Not everybody knows how to get it from ORCID and I’m not sure that the funding institutions around the world accept it.
Answering your questions:

  1. You are right, not all the reviews should have an automatic certificate. So the best option is to add an additional button “send certificate” below the “thanks” button, so is the decision of the editor. I would send it every time, except if is a mediocre review.

  2. These scanned signatures give some illusion of “authenticity”, but this autenticity could be achieved by another means, like a digital certificate or the certificate of the web itself, for example.

  3. Reviews should be certificated for reviews, independently if is published or rejected.

Thank you!

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Reviewing the closed github issues today, I see that I made a similar request in 2018:

I think that all this “certificates” (reviewers, attendance at conferences, authorship of a book…) is a very bureaucratic thing typical of latin countries (and their accreditation processes) so possibly it is not full understood in other cultures.

I try to answer your questions Nate, but in case of contradiction or error I hope that @fellipe.gestio corrects me because this is his FR:

When should a reviewer be entitled to a certificate? When do you submit a review? When does an editor confirm a review? Or when an editor thanks the reviewer? (I suspect there are a lot of reviews submitted that are incomplete or the editor just says “I can’t do that.”)

In the third case: “when an editor thanks the reviewer”… as far as it means the editor agrees with the review work done.

Are the signatures, as shown in your examples, an important part of the certificate?

I do not think so. The “rubric” (as “graphical signature”) has no legal validity and is only aesthetic, so I assume that if the journal wants to digitally sign the generated PDFs, it should do so later.

While asking OJS to digitally sign the PDFs seems to me to complicate the project greatly and goes beyond the scope of the OJS’s features, I believe that the digital signature should be done by the journal afterwards with third-party tools.

This is why I would suggest using a model PDF template (in which, if the journal wishes, it can attach the rubric, the journal’s logo, etc.) to which add the relevant fields (reviewer name/surname, review date, article to review…).

The plugin could be a form with the date-range (and the reviewer’s name) for a batch generating process.

One of the example certificates is for a published article - presumably reviewers should get credit for reviews of rejected articles?

Exactly. Certifications are for reviewers to accredit state agencies that have done review work. This work is recognized regardless of the outcome of the review…as long as the review was done correctly.

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