In a nutshell

Axios Review exists to eliminate the huge inefficiency at the heart of scientific publishing: Authors cannot currently submit to a journal that wants their paper. The resulting search for a suitable journal wastes researcher time, inflates the cost of journals, and ultimately slows the progress of science.

Axios applies the long-established brokerage model to scientific publishing. We conduct a rigorous editor-led peer review process and then find a journal that wants the paper. This approach is highly effective: 85% of Axios papers get accepted at the journal (compared to <30% for the current system). Half of the accepted Axios papers are not re-reviewed by the journal. Our papers are published with under 2 rounds of review (vs. 5 in the current system) without any loss of rigour.

Goals and intentions

The current process for publishing scientific research is highly inefficient:

- Researchers need to publish their papers in high profile journals to win funding.

- High profile journals receive many thousands of research papers every year.

- 70 to 95% of these papers are rejected, the majority for poor fit or lack of novelty.

- Researchers must then submit their papers to another journal.

- Most papers are assessed again and again by different journals before being published.

- This takes up researcher time, raises the cost of journals, and slows the progress of science.

Project status
Review process
  • Review requested by
    Authors
  • Reviewer selected by
    Editor, service, or community
  • Public interaction
    Not included
  • Opportunity for author response
    Included
  • Recommendation
    Binary decision, Other scale or rating
Review policy
  • Review coverage
    Complete paper
  • Reviewer identity known to
    Editor or service
  • Competing interests
    Not included
Review features
  • Manuscript hosting
    No
  • Notes

    Axios Review applies the long-established brokerage model to facilitate the interaction between authors and journals:

    - Scientists send us their papers and suggest target journals.

    - We use standard editor-led anonymous peer review to evaluate the research.

    - We offer the paper to the appropriate target journals.

    - The journals use our evaluation to decide whether they want the paper.

    - Once we have found an interested journal, authors revise their paper and send it in.

    - Journals either re-review the paper or accept it for publication immediately

    Scientists can thus submit to a journal that wants their paper, and journals receive papers they actually want.

  • Review of code or data
    No
  • Eligible reviewers/editors
    Axios staff recruited academic Editors, the Editors picked reviewers (with occasional help from Axios staff)
  • Tags or badges
    No
  • Criteria for inclusion

    Articles reviewed by Axios generally appeared in normal academic journals. Authors were asked to add a line thanking Axios Review for feedback to their acknowledgements

  • Cost
    250
  • Explanation of cost
    The fee covered i) editorial office & staff salaries, ii) overheads, and iii) promotional activities.
Results
  • Number of scholarly outputs commented on
    100-1,000
  • Metrics
    We collected lots of peer review metrics.
  • Results summary

    We received 470 submissions, with almost 200 of those arriving in 2016. At the last time of checking (early 2017) 130 had been published in academic journals, mostly high profile journals in ecology and evolution.

    We consistently found that 85% of Axios papers were accepted at the interested journal (compared to under 30% for the current system). Half of the accepted Axios papers are not re-reviewed by the journal, greatly increasing the speed of the publishing process.

    Most Axios papers were published with fewer than 2 rounds of review, compared to over 5 in the current system. Excluding the time authors spend on revisions, we averaged 3 months between the paper arriving at Axios and being published in a journal.

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