"Open peer-review" has at least two different meanings (and both have been pioneered by JMIR Publications). One meaning of openness is "transparency", i.e. peer-reviewers sign with their name and are no longer anonymous. Since the beginnings of JMIR in 1999, peer-reviewers have always been acknowledged at the end of a published manuscript, by name (although in case of rejection, they stay anonymous). The other meaning of openness is that peer-review is open for everybody to join, i.e. "participatory" (see also http://preprints.jmir.org/2015/1/e1/).
JMIR Publications has been a leader in applying openness, participation, collaboration and other "2.0" ideas to scholarly publishing, and since December 2009 offers participatory peer-review aka open peer review articles aka Preprints, allowing JMIR users to sign themselves up as peer reviewers for specific articles (preprints) currently considered by the Journal (in addition to author- and editor-selected reviewers).
The abstracts and articles on Preprints are unpublished studies - please use them with caution. If you wish to cite them/wish to see them published, write your opinion in the form of a peer-review!
Note that this is a not a complete list of submissions as authors can opt-out.
If you follow us on Twitter, we will also announce new submissions under open peer-review there.
During the submission process (see also Where/how do I submit my paper to a JMIR journal?), please indicate with the "open peer-review" checkbox whether you wish to participate in open peer-review, meaning that your abstract is posted on the homepage and on JMIR Preprints, so that potential reviewers can self-assign themselves. Note that currently only the abstract is publicly visible - the actual paper is only visible for registered users and can only be downloaded by reviewers who sign up for that particular paper (we are currently changing our system so that the author will have more control over who can see their preprint).
For authors it has several advantages to make their submission open as Preprint and to opt for open peer-review:
- papers which undergone open peer-review may have slightly more positive reviews (perhaps because the reviewers signing up for a particular paper may have a stronger interest in the papers' topic and to see it published).
- the turnaround time (time from submission to decision) may be improved, because more reviewers sign up
- The NIH, UK MRC and other organizations and societies encourage investigators to use interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work. For example, since April 2017 the MRC is explicitly encouraging the inclusion of preprints in publication lists for grant and fellowship proposals (MRC Application Guidelines). This means that JMIR authors do not necessarily have to wait for an editorial decision after submitting to JMIR in order to cite a manuscript - they can now cite submitted preprints by simply opting into the JMIR open peer-review as this automatically generates a citable preprint (see also What is a preprint?).
Note that the reviews themselves are currently not open. Only the editor (and author) sees them, not other readers or reviewers (at a later stage we may give the author more control over this).
Preprints will get a DOI-link and are citable immediately after submission (e.g. in grant proposals etc.). If the paper is published later in a JMIR journal, the DOI-link will redirect to the final, published article.
For Potential Reviewers
The list on the page
- Latest Submissions Open for Peer Review (Preprints)
shows recently submitted articles where submitting authors have not opted-out of open peer-review and where the editor has not made a decision yet. (Note that this feature is for reviewing specific articles - if you just want to sign up as reviewer (and wait for the editor to contact you if articles match your interests), please sign up as reviewer using your profile, see also How can I become a peer-reviewer and what are the qualifications required?).
To assign yourself to an article as reviewer, you must have a user account on the JMIR site (if you don't have one, register for a free account here) and be logged in (please verify that your email address in your profile is correct).
Add yourself as a peer reviewer to any article by clicking the 'Peer-review Me' link under each article. Preferably, select articles where this is printed in red, as this indicates that this article currently needs more peer-reviewers (see screenshot below). Full instructions on how to complete your review will be sent to you via email shortly after. If you want to see the peer-review form in advance, see How does the JMIR peer-review form look like?
Do not sign up as peer-reviewer if you have any conflicts of interest (note that we will treat any attempts by authors to sign up as reviewer under a false identity as scientific misconduct and reserve the right to promptly reject the article and inform the host institution).
We now reward completed peer-reviews (all rounds must be completed) with 90 Karma points which can be used as credits towards your own submissions (see Karma Credits - What are they and how to collect them?). In addition, you receive karma points at the time of self-assignment, and additional bonus points for nominating other reviewers as well as for excellent reviews. Conditions apply, see Karma Description for details. Note that assigning yourself as reviewer and not delivering a review will lead to negative karma points.
The standard turnaround time for reviews is currently 2 weeks, and the general aim is to give constructive feedback to the authors and/or to prevent publication of uninteresting or fatally flawed articles. Reviewers will be acknowledged by name if the article is published, but remain anonymous if the article is declined.