Peer-reviewers in the USA alone donate over 500.000 hours of free peer-reviews to the scholarly communication system - at a cost of about 1.5 Billion Dollars per year (Akzel 2021). A considerable proportion of this number is from rejected and resubmitted papers. Often, very selective journals send out papers for peer-review, but end up rejecting submissions not because the paper has scientific flaws, but because it is not deemed "interesting enough". JMIR Publications is recognizing that peer-reviews in these cases (and the efforts authors made to improve the manuscript) are still valid and should be recognized by the next journal the manuscript is sent to - potentially even to a degree that the paper will not be sent out for peer-review again.
JMIR Publications is piloting a program where we encourage authors with papers that were submitted to other journals and rejected after peer-review to attach the peer-reviews (PePR program - pre-existing peer-reviews). The accompanying social media campaign is using the hashtag #RecyclePeerReviews and #PortablePeerReviews to promote this program.
The program is particularly suitable for manuscripts that were submitted to and went through rounds of peer-reviews at high-impact journals of other publishers (non-JMIR Publications journals*) and that ended up being rejected for reasons that are not related to the validity of the research, e.g. lack of impact or priority. Many of these papers may be suitable for JMIR Publications journals such as JMIR Formative Research, and could potentially be accepted on the basis of existing peer-reviews, without going to new reviewers.
Authors of papers rejected at non-JMIR Publications journals interested in participating in PePR and getting their paper published without additional peer-review are invited to submit a pre-submission inquiry using this form, attaching all previous peer-reviews and editorial comments.
- We request the authors to disclose all existing peer-reviews and editorial comments, and present them in an unedited manner, under the academic honor code. Do not alter the peer-reviews.
- Please provide the original PDFs or save the email communications as PDF. We may confirm the authenticity of the reports with the other journal and treat any attempt to alter the peer review reports as academic misconduct.
Currently, for this pilot, the primary venue to publish articles under PePR is the Interactive Journal of Medical Research, which has a permanent section (PePR) to which medical articles with existing peer reviews from all specialties can be submitted to.
If JMIR Publications approves your manuscript to be submitted through the PePR Program, an Editor may still provide additional recommendations for revisions and/or external peer review. On a case-by-case basis, manuscripts would be evaluated for whether or not it will require additional peer review.
Here are some additional considerations:
1. We will consider peer reviewed papers that were rejected by a different journal; typically, reasons for rejection might include the following:
- Did not meet technical requirements
- Outside the journal’s aims and scope
- Is not of particular interest or of “low priority/impact” according to the editor of the other journal
- Could be improved by additional data or experiments but which are not absolutely necessary to justify the conclusions
2. We do not consider peer reviewed papers rejected by a different journal for the following reasons:
- The procedures and/or analysis is fundamentally flawed
- Data are defective
- Conclusions are not justified (unless they are revised)
- The research has ethical problems and/or authors failed to obtain ethics approval (unless the issue is rectified with a retrospective ethics approval or exemption)
We ask that authors honestly include all previous peer-review reports and editorial comments in their original form. Violations of this honor code will be treated as academic misconduct.
*JMIR Publications authors always have the option to transfer manuscripts to other journals within the publisher, so this is not part of the PePR program, which focuses on cross-publisher recognition of the peer review process