What it is
The Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium (NPRC) is an alliance of neuroscience journals that have agreed to share article reviews, at the author’s request. A complete list of consortium journals can be found at the Consortium’s website. EJN is member of the NPRC.
How it works
Authors of a manuscript that has not been accepted (e.g. was rejected) by a consortium journal (journal 1) can submit their manuscript to another consortium journal (journal 2) after appropriate revision and have the original reviews from journal 1 forwarded to journal 2. It is the authors’ choice whether or not to request that a set of reviews be forwarded. The only information that journal 2 will receive is the text of the reviews that were sent to the authors and, if the reviewers have agreed, the names of the reviewers (which will not be released to the authors). No other information about the manuscript will be exchanged between journals. Forwarding of reviews is all-or-none. Authors may not select which reviews will be forwarded. If a manuscript went through multiple rounds of review at the first journal, the reviews from all rounds will be forwarded.
When authors request to have the reviews forwarded to journal 2, there are 3 possible outcomes:
- If the Editors of journal 2 consider that the comments of journal 1 have been properly addressed and that the manuscript fits the aims and scope of journal 2, they may accept the manuscript without additional external review. This considerably reduces the handling time of the manuscript by the second journal. At EJN, we have accepted such manuscripts within one week of receiving the papers.
- If the Editors of journal 2 consider that the comments of journal 1 have not been satisfactorily addressed or they feel the article is not a good fit for journal 2, they can editorially reject the manuscript very quickly, which again saves time on handling of the manuscript.
- The Editors may decide that the manuscript needs to be sent out to external reviewers again. They may decide to invite reviewer(s) who originally reviewed the manuscript for journal 1 or “new” reviewer(s).
How to submit through the NPRC track
- Reformat your paper to journal 2’s specifications.
- Submit your paper to journal 2 with a cover letter that identifies the name of journal 1 and the manuscript ID that was given by journal 1. In addition, when you submit your paper through the NPRC track, at EJN we request that you submit a point-by-point response letter to the previous reviews (when you upload your manuscript files, please upload this letter as a separate word file (.doc) with the file designation “Authors’ responses to reviewers”).
- Request the Editorial Office of journal 1 to forward the reviews to journal 2, along with the name of the reviewers who reviewed for journal 1 (it is at the reviewers’ discretion to have their names released to journal 2). In your email to journal 1, please specify the title of the original paper, the name of Journal 2 and manuscript ID (both the one given by journal 1 and the new one given by journal 2). To contact the Editorial Office of EJN, please email firstname.lastname@example.org The contact information of each consortium journal is available at http://nprc.incf.org/journals
- The editors of journal 2 will use forwarded reviews at their discretion. They may use those reviews directly to make a decision, but may also request further reviews if they feel it is warranted.
What’s in it for you?
- Faster peer-reviewing
- Higher rate of acceptance (if you have made appropriate revisions to original reviews). At EJN, the acceptance of NPRC manuscripts is twice as high as that of regular submissions.
- Reviewing workload decreased, means more time for your research
- Journals members of NPRC do not accept “confidential comments to the editors” anymore in order to achieve a more transparent review process.
- 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.
- If reviewers do not want their identity revealed to the editors of journal 2, they have the option of remaining anonymous.
Full details of the review-sharing process can be found at the Consortium’s website.