The ASAPbio and EMBO Press have launched Review Commons, a platform for high-quality, journal-independent peer review of manuscripts from the life sciences before submission to a journal. Authors can submit preprints or unpublished manuscripts to Review Commons for expert peer review. The resulting Refereed Preprint, containing the manuscript, the reviewers' reports plus any author responses empowers authors to make an informed decision on the best home for their paper, while the Review Commons platform expedites submission to 17 affiliate journals that have agreed to consider the transferred reviews without restarting the review process.
The peer reviewers will be asked to evaluate the technical rigor of the work, make suggestions for improvements, and comment on the potential value of the work to specific communities. Authors can direct Review Commons to post reviews and their own responses to bioRxiv through the server's new Transparent Review in Preprints (TRiP) project, where it will provide rich context for readers of their preprint. If authors decide to submit their work to a journal, it will allow editors to make efficient editorial decisions based on existing referee comments.
Review Commons will facilitate transfer of the manuscript, reviews, and responses to affiliate journals. A consortium of 17 journals across six publishers have joined the project by committing to use the Review Commons referee reports for their independent editorial decisions, and to seek minimal additional expert input. If the editors decide to reject the work, the authors can reuse the peer review evaluation for submission to additional journals. In this way, Review Commons reduces re-reviewing at multiple journals and accelerates publishing.
In the current scholarly publishing process, reviewers evaluate manuscripts after submission to a journal. If the work is rejected, the peer reviews are typically not reused by another journal. As a result, journal rejections contribute to long publication delays for authors and readers. The journal-independent, pre-submission peer reviews provided by Review Commons reduce such delays, expediting the publication workflow.
Review Commons is supported by a grant to ASAPbio from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and is operated by EMBO Press.
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