A selection of about 70-100 experts, who are exclusive members of the crowd, receive a link to the manuscript and can comment on it anonymously via a secure only platform (Filestage). Only the editor knows who the reviewers are while monitoring the process.
Each reviewer decides if he or she has time and expertise to comment on the respective article. Participating reviewers see each other's comments and can discuss the research featured in the paper to improve the manuscript further. They can respond, interact, and enhance it in parallel.
After 48–72 hours (on average) the review period ends, and the manuscript is taken off the platform. In the next step, the editor evaluates the comments of the reviewers, decides about accepting (with or without revision) or rejecting the article and sends the feedback of the crowd to the author for consideration and implementation.
Goals and intentions
In the first year after the introduction of Select Crowd Review for SYNLETT, experience has proved that the innovative process delivers substantive feedback to the authors, with the same or higher quality than classical peer review does, in only a few days. This allows editors to decide about the acceptance of a manuscript much faster and therefore shortens the time from submission to publication.
We will continue to improve Select Crowd Review together with editors, authors, and reviewers. This innovative process will not just benefit SYNLETT and SynOpen, but potentially the wider scientific community.
Reviewers (members of the 'crowd') are selected by a member of the editorial board of the journal, based upon their expertise, motivation, and experience in reviewing and in synthetic organic chemistry.