In response to the current pandemic and in order to increase the efficiency of peer review and publication process of crucial COVID-19 research, Hindawi, the Royal Society, PLOS and PeerJ came together to create a reviewer pool and implement portable review.
This collaboration quickly evolved into the C19 Rapid Review Initiative - a large-scale collaboration among publishers and organizations across the scholarly publishing industry. The initiative calls for volunteer reviewers to commit to rapid reviewing times and to pre-agree that their reviews and identity can be shared among publishers and journals, if submissions get rerouted to different publication venues. For more information please read the formal Letter of Intent.
The initiative has received a positive response with nearly 2k reviewers signing up as rapid reviewers from more than 80 countries. In addition, the C19 Rapid Review is now endorsed by SSRN, AfricArxiv and Research on Research Institute (RoRI). RoRI will be driving forward the initiative's reporting and analytics working group and using the C19RR group as a case study for their wider research on research projects.
Recently, UCL Press, Springer Nature, MIT Press, and Cambridge University Press joined the collaboration with a number of their titles, increasing the original group of nine publishers and organizations to 20 and establishing the C19 Rapid Review Initiative as one of the largest cross-publisher collaborations within the scholarly publishing industry.
For more information on participating organizations and journal titles click here.
Chief Publishing Officer at Hindawi Sarah Greaves who has been leading the initiative alongside Phil Hurst of the Royal Society, Joerg Heber of PLOS, and Peter Binfield of Peer J, commented:
"We are amazed by the commitment to the group and welcome all our new members and endorsers. What started as a discussion among colleagues about how to deal with a challenging situation has evolved into one of the largest ever collaborations in the industry demonstrating in a profound way the power of community. We hope that this collaboration will become the norm post-pandemic providing us with the opportunity to focus on other areas of research that also deserve our attention. We also welcome more publishers and endorsers, particularly those in the social sciences space, to get in touch if they are interested in joining. As we enter the next phase of the initiative we will be announcing more from our reporting, preprint and data sharing working groups in the coming weeks."
RoRI's contribution to the initiative is coordinated by Stephen Pinfield at University of Sheffield and Ludo Waltman at Leiden University. Waltman added:
"It's great to see that so many scholarly publishers are joining forces to facilitate rapid peer review of COVID-19 research. This is a crucial initiative that is likely to set a standard for more intensive long-term collaboration between publishers. At RoRI we hope to contribute by carefully studying the benefits and challenges of cross-publisher collaborative initiatives."
Arianne Heinrichs, Editorial Director at Springer Nature commented: "The need for fast and continued access to high quality research and learning has never been more important. We recognise our role in this goal both as a publisher and as a collaborator, ensuring that we are working with global organisations, to make all relevant research, and data, immediately available as quickly as possible. As such, we are very proud to be part of C19 Rapid Review with several journals of the BMC imprint, BMC Medicine and Genome Medicine. Without high quality peer review, and a pool of expert peer reviewers willing to undertake this, the publication of critical research cannot happen. We share the goals of the C19 Rapid Review initiative in making high quality research accessible as quickly as possible, and view these goals as an essential part in driving forward research that will continue to inform the global response to COVID-19."
"Broadly coordinated, rapid and community driven peer review is essential for a thorough and timely quality assurance of the works submitted by scientists from around the world for us as a global community to learn with each other and to be able to identify effective and adequate and region-specific ways to mitigate the effects of the pandemic", says Joy Owango, director at TCC Africa and member of the AfricArXiv advisory board.
About Hindawi Ltd
Hindawi Limited is one of the world's largest open access publishers with an expansive portfolio of academic research journals across all areas of science and medicine. Each peer-reviewed journal has been developed in partnership with academic researchers, acting as editors, to fit the targeted communities they serve. Driven by a mission to advance openness in research and placing the researcher at the heart of everything we do, we work with publishers, institutions, and organizations to move towards a more open scholarly ecosystem by investing in the development of open source publishing infrastructure. For additional information about Hindawi Limited, see hindawi.com. To keep up to date with the latest developments, connect with us on Twitter.