In a nutshell

Review Commons is a platform for high-quality journal-independent peer-review in the life sciences.

Review Commons provides authors with a Refereed Preprint, which includes the authors’ manuscript, reports from a single round of peer review and the authors’ response. Review Commons also facilitates author-directed submission of Refereed Preprints to affiliate journals to expedite editorial consideration, reduce serial re-review and streamline publication.

Review Commons transfers Referred Preprints on behalf of the authors to bioRxiv and 17 affiliate journals from EMBO Press, PLOS, eLife, Rockefeller University Press, The Company of Biologists and ASCB.

Goals and intentions

Review Commons will:

  • Allow reviewers to focus on the science, not specific journal fit.
  • Enrich the value of preprints.
  • Reduce re-reviewing at multiple journals.
  • Accelerate the publishing process by providing journals with high-quality referee reports.
Project status
Types of outputs
Review process
  • Review requested by
  • Reviewer selected by
    Editor, service, or community
  • Public interaction
  • Author response
  • Decision
Review policy
  • Review coverage
    Complete paper
  • Reviewer identity known to
    Editor or service
  • Competing interests
Social Networks
Review features
  • Manuscript hosting
  • Notes

    For more details about the process, please see the FAQ.

  • Eligible reviewers/editors
    An independent Managing Editor will liaise with the authors and assign experienced professional editors at EMBO Press to run a high-quality, in-depth peer-review process. The EMBO editors will only invite referees, but not assess the manuscript for their journals. Reviewers may co-review manuscripts with colleagues, eg members of their research groups.
  • Criteria for inclusion

    Review Commons will only review well-developed scholarly research papers that represent a clear advance for the field. A managing editor in conjunction with an academic editorial board makes this decision independently of the selection criteria of affiliate journals.

  • Explanation of cost
    During the one-year trial, the project is supported by a grant to ASAPbio from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and there is no cost to authors or journals. Assuming that we find that the platform improves the process of publication, we will also develop a sustainable financial plan so that the service can continue beyond this initial period.
  • Metrics
    Our goal is to increase transparency, speed, and efficiency of the review process. We will evaluate the engagement of the community by measuring the submission rate. To assess the efficiency of the process, we will measure the time from submission to publication in a journal, and, very importantly, the average number of reviewers needed per published manuscript. To measure transparency, we will monitor the fraction of authors who post their reviews and replies to bioRxiv.
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