Cross-publisher COVID-19 rapid review initiative

A group of publishers and scholarly communications organisations – initially comprising eLife, Hindawi, PeerJ, PLOS, Royal Society, F1000 Research, FAIRsharing, Outbreak Science, and PREreview – is working on initiatives and standards to speed up the review process while ensuring rigour and reproducibility remain paramount. The group has issued an open letter of intent and launched an initiative to ensure a rapid, efficient, yet responsible review of COVID-19 content.

The initiative is asking for volunteer reviewers with suitable expertise relevant to COVID-19, from all career stages and disciplines, to add their names to a 'rapid reviewer list'. By doing so, these reviewers will be committing to rapid reviewing times, and upfront agreement that their reviews and identity can be shared among participating publishers and journals if submissions get rerouted for any reason.

Additionally, the group is asking all potential reviewers, whether they sign up to the rapid reviewer list or not, to help identify and highlight important and crucial COVID-19 preprints as early as possible, to optimise the limited time of expert reviewers who are subsequently invited to review the most important and promising research by a journal/platform. The more rigorous and helpful review of preprints that can occur during this time, the better for all reviewers, authors, and editors.

COVID-19 funding