A portion of the article processing charge will be put aside to create a fund to reward referees

A new open access journal based in the US will pay its reviewers for their referee reports. Collabra, which will be published by the University of California open press, are using the incentive as part of a community-based scheme to drive open access (OA).

Under the new scheme a peer reviewer will receive a fraction of the article processing charge (APC), which an institution must pay to publish a paper upon acceptance. The APC for Collabra has been set at $875 (£580), with $625 going towards the day-to-day running of the journal. The remaining $250 will be placed in a ‘research community fund’ and provide a fund to pay peer reviewers.

The journal intends to give contributors ‘value points’ based on their level of engagement with the journal, which will determine the amount of money they receive from the fund. Reviewers will accrue points even if the paper they assess is rejected. Once they are allocated funds, reviewers will have the option to receive their earnings electronically, pay them forward into an APC waiver fund or their institution’s OA budget.

Collabra will be initially publish papers in life, environmental and social sciences.