A manuscript may be submitted to up to three affiliate journals successively without being peer reviewed again. By eliminating the need for each journal to begin the review process anew, Review Commons aims to avoid the delay and duplicative effort inherent in the present system of evaluating manuscripts for publication.
Authors may request that Review Commons post the manuscript as a “refereed preprint” on bioRxiv, together with the reviews and the authors’ responses. The availability of refereed preprints will promote openness in peer review and will provide readers with a valuable record of how the dialog between authors and reviewers has improved the manuscript.
“There are many changes underway in scientific publishing, and many exciting opportunities,” said incoming MBoC Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch. “MBoC and ASCB are eager to embrace experiments such as Review Commons that will streamline the publication process and make it more author-friendly.” MBoC also participates with Company of Biologists and Rockefeller University Press in a Manuscript Transfer System that permits authors to seamlessly transfer a manuscript that’s been declined by one journal to another journal, together with the peer reviews, if the editor at the original journal thinks such a transfer is appropriate. Like Review Commons, the Manuscript Transfer System serves to decrease the time from submission to publication and lighten the load on peer reviewers.
Review Commons is the creation of ASAPbio and EMBO Press. EMBO Press will be responsible for recruiting manuscript reviewers. Besides ASCB and EMBO Press, participating publishers include Company of Biologists, eLife, Life Science Alliance, PLOS, and Rockefeller University Press. More information is available at www.reviewcommons.org.
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