Portable peer review

Author-pays service cuts down on redundant reviews
February 13, 2013

(Credit: Rubriq)

Researchers waiting for their manuscript to emerge from multiple rounds of peer review as it bounces from journal to journal can easily get frustrated at the inefficiencies of the system. Soon, they may have another option: paying for a fast, independent peer review that could travel with the paper from one journal to another, and eliminate redundant peer reviews, Nature News reports.

The concept comes from a company called Rubriq. Charging authors an estimated US$500–700 for its service, the firm plans to offer a standard-format anonymized review, and is currently testing its concept with publishers including Public Library of Science (PLoS), Karger, F1000Research and Wiley, as well as more than 500 reviewers.

Rubriq’s emphasis is on speed. By paying peer reviewers $100 each, it hopes to get reviews back within a week.

Other publishers are taking a more radical approach to publishing models: from the European Molecular Biology Organization’s open peer review, which is not anonymous, to F1000Research’s strategy: publish first and peer review later. But Collier says that Rubriq aims “to be an independent validation service to streamline the publishing process; we’re not trying to disrupt the industry”.