What is a live review?
JMIR Publications teamed up with PREreview to expand our innovative peer review offerings through live reviews. Live Reviews, in partnership with PREreview, which are topic-centered, interactive preprint review calls via a video conference tool such as Zoom. Output from a Live Review can be used to improve a manuscript or be integrated into journal review workflows. Authors are provided an initial editorial decision based upon the live review session summary two (2) weeks after the Live Review is completed. Then, authors revise their manuscripts based on the comments provided from the Live Review.
We first ran a pilot of this program in April 2020, to rapidly review a study on early pandemic behaviours; the final version of the manuscript was published in JMIR Public Health & Surveillance and has been well-cited.
This peer review model of “more eyes makes better work” also supports the advancement of Open Science by reducing individual bias toward a manuscript, producing freely available scientific records on the development of a research project, and uniting communities of like-minded scholars in a friendly and collaborative environment.
Who participates? How does a Live Review work?
The Live Review will be hosted by two facilitators (PhD level) who will guide all participants through a constructive discussion of the preprint following a curated template. The event will last 90 minutes and yield a review based on the collaborative notes participants will jointly take during the call.
- Two facilitators from our team with experience in hosting Live Reviews
- A topic expert (optional) to guide participants through a constructive discussion
- Preprint authors (optional) to gather live feedback on their preprint
- Researchers who join from all over the world to collaborate on improving a preprint, build their network, and meet globally renowned experts
The PREreview facilitators will lead the event, ensuring that all reviewers have a chance to deliver constructive feedback and certify that all comments on the scientific concepts/methodology are sound.
Why should an author submit their paper for group review?
Beyond their support of Open Science, an author whose work is reviewed in a Live Review benefits from connecting with their research community in more tangible ways. More eyes and the diverse backgrounds of reviewer volunteers reduces bias in a research project and their new perspectives lead to more considered results or conclusions.
For early and late career researchers, this is a great way to observe how your fellow researchers perceive your writing and understand your data, and to discover ideas/emerging trends outside of your current network.
The Live Review format also offers rapid feedback, with the author receiving a structured set of comments and questions immediately after the event.
Please note this peer review option is available at no cost to authors; however, we may limited by our events schedule.
If an author chooses to attend, they are encouraged to provide the panel a brief overview of their work at the beginning and answer lingering questions at the end, passively observing the discussion in between.
Why should reviewer volunteers attend and contribute to a group review?
Reviewer volunteers are the beating heart of the Live Review initiative, and we’re very thankful to them for lending their time and experience. Volunteers will be able to debate their interests in real time and connect with researchers outside of their current network, leading to a better understanding of how their contributions are understood. This will inform and improve an attendee’s writing, saving review for the author’s future submissions. The lively discussion that characterizes an OPJC event is also a great way to discover new ideas or methodologies that may not have been recorded in the literature.
This is an excellent opportunity for early career researchers to connect with peers and refine their best practices when reviewing other manuscripts. Reviewer volunteers can opt for their names to be blinded on the OPJC review document if the revised manuscript is published in a JMIR journal.
How can a reviewer prepare for the Live Review?
For reviewer participants, in addition to registering for a PREreview, they:
- should read a preprint before the Live Review;
- review the PREreview Code of Conduct;
- ensure they have no Conflict of Interest that would prohibit them from participating in providing an unbiased, high-quality peer review (see: How does JMIR define a Conflict of Interest (COI)?);
- will have the option to sign the final review using their real name (via their ORCID iD) or via a pseudonym provided by the PREreview account.
There are a couple of ways you can prepare to review in a Live Review:
- take notes and write preliminary questions before the meeting;
- attend with a friend and digest the manuscript before and after the event;
- share your initial thoughts with a colleague prior to the open review; and
- browse the PREreview template for an understanding of the event’s flow.
You can find the PREreview Code of Conduct and list of resources here.
How can an author register interest in a Live Review of their preprint?
Interested authors can opt in at submission to JMIRx or JMIR Preprints (see below). They can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org if their preprint is already available on our platform and if there is no revised version published.
Please note this option is available at no cost; however, we are limited by our events schedule. If you opt in to consideration for an Live Review, a member of our marketing team will contact you regarding availability. We want to ensure you receive a quick review even if the Live Review schedule is already full.
When selecting peer review options at submission, click “Request PREreview video journal club.”
How does it work for an interested author?
Here’s a simplified outline of the Live Review peer review model for authors:
- Manuscript publication on a preprint server: We currently offer Live Reviews via JMIRx (our preprint overlay journal) and JMIR Preprints. Prior publication of the manuscript as a preprint is required for this review workflow; authors interested in this novel peer review model should deposit a manuscript on a preprint server such as JMIR Preprints, medRxiv, and others.
- Submission to JMIRx: Author formally submits their manuscript to JMIRx and chooses the PREreview review pathway in the JMIRx submission form.
- The live event: The structured Live Review will be led by a PREreview expert and an invited subject expert over a video platform (Zoom), with each attendee commenting on the merits of the paper. After the event, the PREreview team’s PhD-level facilitators will share the compiled comments with the author and JMIRx editorial team.
- Revisions and resubmission: Authors should consider the written Live Review feedback when revising their manuscript. If an author addresses the comments from the Live Review, they will be offered publication of the revised preprint in JMIRx, or receive one or more offers for publication across the entire JMIR portfolio of journals. In line with JMIR Publications’ standard practice, the Live Review and reviewer names will be posted alongside the revised/finalized version.