"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.