Voluntary sharing of reviews already happens in neuroscience Aug 9. 2010 | Comments (0)
A brief update, not on PubCreds, but on the complementary idea of sharing reviews among journals so as to reduce the burden on the peer review system. It turns out that a consortium of neuroscience journals already runs a formal system of sharing of reviews. Details are here, but the key features are:
-Sharing of previous reviews is voluntary on the part of the author. If the authors don't want previous reviews shared, they submit the ms to a new journal in the usual way, so that the new journal will not even be aware that the ms was previously rejected by another journal.
-Sharing of reviews is all-or-nothing. You can either choose to share every review the ms has ever received, or none. You can't cherry-pick the positive ones.
-Even if provided with previous reviews, editors have the option of requesting new reviews.
It seems to me that's the only reason not to adopt this would be that the benefit gained (in terms of reduced burden on the peer review system) isn't worth the cost (it creates some extra admin work for the participating journals). But the extra admin work required seems rather slight, so I think this would be worth adopting, even though it's a little hard to say how large the benefit would be.
UPDATE: I've found out that relatively few submissions (~5%) to the consortium have previous reviews attached. It's unclear why this is. Authors may be unaware of the option of sharing reviews, they may be choosing not to do so, or both. So in neuroscience, voluntary sharing of reviews has so far failed to appreciably reduce the burden on the peer review system.