In a nutshell

Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 is an open-access overlay journal from The MIT Press that seeks to accelerate peer review of COVID-19-related research and prevent the dissemination of false or misleading scientific news. The editorial team identifies papers related to the novel coronavirus and its impacts that have been posted to preprint servers and commissions cross-linked, rapid peer reviews of these manuscripts. The journal also offers publishing options to the authors of papers that are positively reviewed, providing a vital outlet for research communications produced in the wake of the pandemic.

The editors approach COVID-19 and its wide-ranging effects from a multidisciplinary perspective, reviewing papers from a variety of fields including medicine; public health; the physical, biological, and chemical sciences; the social sciences; and the humanities. The editorial office is based at the University of California, Berkeley, with Professor Stefano Bertozzi serving as editor-in-chief.

The editors are committed to both disciplinary and geographic breadth and take care not only to source manuscripts from all regions but also to include board members and reviewers from all regions. To help scale their efforts, they are coalescing a network of student screeners from UC Berkeley and other universities around the world who will help them to conduct the initial scan of preprint servers and will leverage AI to identify important papers

Goals and intentions

Scientists and researchers are working overtime to understand the SARS-CoV-2 virus and are producing an unprecedented amount of preprint scholarship that is publicly available online but has not been vetted yet by peer review for accuracy. Traditional peer review can take four or more weeks to complete, but RR:C19’s editorial team, led by editor-in-chief, Stefano M. Bertozzi, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Health at University of California Berkeley, will produce expert reviews in a matter of days.

Using artificial intelligence tools, a global team will identify promising scholarship in preprint repositories, commission expert peer reviews, and publish the results on an open access platform in a completely transparent process. The journal will strive for disciplinary and geographic breadth, sourcing manuscripts from all regions and across a wide variety of fields, including medicine; public health; the physical, biological, and chemical sciences; the social sciences; and the humanities. RR:C19 will also provide a new publishing option for revised papers that are positively reviewed.

What is reviewed
  • Manuscript hosting


Format of review
Review features
  • Eligible reviewers/editors

  • Criteria for inclusion

    COVID-19 Research articles deposited on preprint servers.

  • Cost


  • Number of scholarly outputs commented on


  • Metrics

    Not yet, but we will be developing these metrics in coming months.

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