Webinar: Rapid communication of COVID-19 research – ASAPbio

“Join ASAPbio and the Knowledge Futures Group for a conversation about new ways of sharing scientific information relevant to the coronavirus pandemic via preprints, rapid peer review, and more. Individual talks will be followed by a round-table discussion and an audience Q&A period….”

Review Commons is now LIVE

“ASAPbio and EMBO Press just launched Review Commons, a platform for high-quality, journal-independent peer review of manuscripts in the life sciences before they are submitted to a journal. 

PLOS is part of a group of affiliate journals that have agreed to consider submissions with transferred reviews from Review Commons without restarting the review process. All of our journals within scope — PLOS Biology, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS ONE and PLOS Pathogens — now welcome submissions reviewed at Review Commons.

Authors can submit preprints or unpublished manuscripts to Review Commons for expert peer review coordinated by professional editors at EMBO Press. Authors can then decide the best home for this Refereed Preprint which contains the manuscript, the reviewers’ reports plus any author responses. …”

Transparent review in preprints – Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

“Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) today announced a new pilot project—Transparent Review in Preprints (TRiP)—that enables journals and peer review services to post peer reviews of submitted manuscripts on CSHL’s preprint server bioRxiv.

“The new project is part of broader efforts by bioRxiv to work with other organizations to help the scholarly publishing ecosystem evolve,” said John Inglis, co-founder of bioRxiv at CSHL.

The project is powered by the web annotation tool Hypothesis and will allow participating organizations to post peer reviews in dedicated Hypothesis groups alongside relevant preprints on the bioRxiv website. Authors must opt-in with the journal/service in advance. The use of restricted Hypothesis groups allows participating organizations to control the process and ensure that only reviews they approve are displayed. Readers will continue to be able to post their own reactions to individual preprints through bioRxiv’s dedicated comment section.

eLife and the EMBO Press journals, together with Peerage of Science and Review Commons, two journal-independent peer review initiatives, will be the first to participate. Several other groups plan to join the pilot later, including the American Society for Plant Biology and the Public Library of Science….”

EMBO and ASAPbio to launch a pre-journal portable review platform

“EMBO Press and ASAPbio have partnered to create Review Commons, a platform that peer-reviews research manuscripts in the life sciences before submission to a journal.  

Papers submitted to Review Commons, which will be launched in December 2019, will be assessed by expert referees without regard to any journal to which they might ultimately be submitted, and will be judged exclusively for their scientific rigor and merit. Review Commons will enable authors to publicly post the reviews and their own response to them on the preprint server bioRxiv and to submit their reviewed manuscript to an affiliated journal.


In the scholarly publishing process, reviewers typically evaluate manuscripts after submission to a journal. Beyond the requirement for technical rigor, editors and reviewers tend to be most concerned about whether the work meets the subjective criteria for the journal. If the work is rejected, the peer reviews are typically not reused by another journal. In this way, journal rejections across all fields waste an estimated 15 million hours of reviewer time each year and contribute to long publication delays for authors and readers.[1],[2]


Review Commons aims to accelerate and streamline the process of publishing by conducting high-quality, in-depth peer review of manuscripts before journal submission. Peer reviewers will be asked to evaluate the technical rigour of the work, make suggestions for improvements, and comment on the potential value of the work to specific communities. Authors can direct Review Commons to post reviews and their own responses to bioRxiv through the server’s new Transparent Review in Preprints (TRiP) project, where it will provide rich context for readers of their preprint. If authors decide to submit their work to a journal, it will allow editors to make efficient editorial decisions based on existing referee comments….”

Partnering to streamline review | The Official PLOS Blog

“I’m happy to announce PLOS’ participation in a new service, Review Commons, that will provide a platform for rapid, objective, journal-independent peer reviews for manuscripts and preprints. We are excited to be part of this initiative and to learn from our community’s response how we can rethink peer review to save authors’, reviewers’, and editors’ time and enhance transparency and objectiveness…. 

Created by ASAPbio and EMBO Press, Review Commons will organize a single round of journal-agnostic review for manuscripts in the life sciences submitted to the service. Upon receiving the reviews, the authors can decide to simply post them alongside their preprint on bioRxiv and/or to submit their manuscript — including reviews–to one of the 17 journals affiliated with Review Commons. If the chosen journal decides to proceed with the submission, it commits to not involve new reviewers unless a specific aspect of the article needs to be further evaluated. 

All the PLOS journals within scope — PLOS Biology, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS ONE and PLOS Pathogens — will welcome submissions reviewed at Review Commons. …”

Research assistant (temporary) posting: online research for preprint server directory – ASAPbio

We are seeking temporary research assistance (online, remote) for a project to survey biomedical preprint servers for current scholarly practices.

Dr Jamie Kirkham, University of Liverpool and Dr Naomi Penfold, ASAPbio, are leading a research project to survey current scholarly publishing practices by preprint servers for biomedical and health sciences. We are seeking assistance to complete the initial research process, which involves structured online research to identify practices as stated on preprint server websites….”

Visiting Scholar: Preprint Uptake and Use Project – scholcommlab

“The ScholCommLab and ASAPbio are seeking a Visiting Scholar to collaborate with us on a special project about preprints uptake and use (details below). This funded position is open to faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students (enrolled full-time at an accredited institution) interested in joining us for a 2-4 month long research stay in Vancouver, Canada….”

Visiting Scholar: Preprint Uptake and Use Project – scholcommlab

“The ScholCommLab and ASAPbio are seeking a Visiting Scholar to collaborate with us on a special project about preprints uptake and use (details below). This funded position is open to faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students (enrolled full-time at an accredited institution) interested in joining us for a 2-4 month long research stay in Vancouver, Canada….”

Publication of peer review reports in Proceedings B and Royal Society Open Science | Publishing blog | Royal Society

We recognise the power of publishing peer review information and several of our journals have signed up to doing this through the ASAPBio open letter. Following a positive response from the communities we serve, Proceedings B and Royal Society Open Science plan to make the editorial process of papers as transparent as possible by mandating the publication of peer review reports on all manuscripts submitted from 2 January 2019….”

Dr. Jessica Polka: Revolutionizing Biomedical Research Communication

“In the longer-term future, one could envision a system where researchers post their scientific contributions; a paper, a single figure, a method, a hypothesis; where we have the potential to make smaller contributions to the global knowledge base and get credit for those contributions in a manner that is more rapid and incremental. This would allow multiple scientists to collaborate and contribute to what we now know of as a single paper. Part of the challenge of the next 10 years is the problem of increasing information overload. Journals in the life sciences are aware that preprints have been around in physics for 25 years, and that the existence of preprints do not diminish the need for journals in that field. It is already impossible for a person to read all the relevant literature in their area, and this will only get harder. We need better tools to read and comprehend the literature, and a lot of these tools will be given by innovations in software and machine learning. My hope is that more of the literature is accessible to text and data mining, which will enhance our ability to understand the literature beyond that of a single human reader….”