"Apart from reducing the redundancy of having a paper shepherded through the peer-review process a second or third time, internal manuscript and peer-review referral services ["cascading peer-review"] offers real value to the submitting author — i.e., faster publishing." (Phil Davis, Scholarly Kitchen)
- JMIR Publications offers "portable peer-review" (also called cascading peer-review), meaning that manuscripts and their peer-reviews can be transferred to other journals by the same publisher without going through a new submission and peer-review process
- this is beneficial for the author if an article has been rejected by a specific editor/journal on grounds of journal scope or subjective importance, or the decision has been "revise with major revisions" with the author not being able/ready/willing to address major issues, or if the editor has indicated that the paper is not strong enough for a high-impact journal but is in principle publishable. In many cases, the paper may then be reframed (e.g. as research protocol or methods paper) and may still be suitable for a specialty journal. By using the manuscript transfer function, authors save time as they don't not have to go through a new submission process at another publisher, and by not having to wait for new reviews
- the handling academic editor / section editor may or may not remain on the paper as editor, depending on the policies of the referring/target journal, and preference of the specific editor and author. Authors are welcome to request a new editor if they feel the paper has been mishandled (As an author, how do I request an editor change or appeal a decision?), however, no new reviewers will be assigned (which is the whole point of portable reviews).
- a transfer is also possible after acceptance (but only before the APF is paid). In the acceptance email, the editor will sometimes specify that the paper is better suited for a different journal. This means the paper is still acceptable for the current journal, but the editor would prefer a manuscript transfer (often to a lower-priced journal). In this case, authors are asked to request a transfer before making the APF payment.
- You can suggest a transfer even during peer-review to speed up the decision-making process. A long peer-review / editorial decision time is often a sign that the paper is not strong enough or not suitable for the journal it was submitted to. See Where (in which journals) should I publish what, and what should be my research and publication strategy to maximize impact and dissemination of my ehealth/mhealth/digital medicine research?
To request a transfer:
- Send a message to the editor handling your manuscript using the manuscript management system, see I would like to send a message to the editor about my paper (already submitted). This can be done when you submit a revision, or at any other time
- If you do not see the manuscript transfer executed within 3 business days, please send an email (=file a ticket) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note that unless the author explicitly opts out of an automatic transfer, the editor/managing editor may automatically transfer a manuscript to a new journal if he/she feels that the paper is unsuitable or not strong enough for the journal it was submitted to.
Note that any papers transferred between JMIR journals after August 3, 2022 will be charged the APF of the target journal at the time of transfer.