The Journal of Neuroscience has joined the Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium (NPRC) for a 1 year trial period starting this month. The Consortium is an alliance of neuroscience journals that have agreed to share manuscript reviews at the author's request. Its goal is to speed and enhance thorough peer review by reducing the number of times that manuscripts are reviewed.
The growing pressure to send manuscripts to journals with the highest profile has increased the number of times that manuscripts are reviewed by different referees and has lengthened the time between the first submission of a manuscript and its eventual publication. Manuscripts submitted to a Consortium journal after January 1, 2008 are eligible to have their reviews forwarded to another Consortium journal if they are not accepted for publication. By reducing or eliminating the need for new reviews at the second journal, this process has the potential to reduce workloads and speed the publication of new data.
A complete list of Consortium journals and details of the review-sharing process can be found at the Consortium's website, http://nprc.incf.org, which is hosted by the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility. Although the Consortium provides a valuable new opportunity, no one is required to take part. If authors do not wish to have their reviews forwarded, nothing will be exchanged between journals, and authors can submit their manuscript to another journal without its history being known, as is currently done. Similarly, if reviewers do not want their identity revealed to editors at a second journal, they have the option of remaining anonymous to external editors.
We hope that the option to share reviews between journals will reduce the burden on reviewers and bring new results to readers more quickly.