Over the past few weeks, eLife has posted a manifesto, and EMBOencounters and Journal of Cell Biology have published editorials, all promising strategies to avoid the iniquities of iterative reviewing, recently also the focus of invective from Hidde Ploegh and Gregory Petsko. We have addressed the problem with a policy we call re-review opt-out.
Clearly the movement to refocus journals on promoting the publication of papers, rather than assiduously filtering them, is gaining ground.
Lest it be overlooked in the more recent coverage, I should like to take the opportunity to assign credit to a rather earlier attempt to draw attention to the plight of postdocs and untenured academics whose careers are imperilled by publication delays due to obstructive referees and unduly compliant editors.
Some years before Ploegh inveighed in Nature against the tyranny (sic) of ‘reviewer experiments’, or the manifesto of eLife inspired an enthusiastic endorsement from Petsko in Genome Biology, Raff, Johnson and Walter made precisely the same points in a succinct and eloquent letter to Science entitled ‘Painful Publishing’.
Editor, BMC Biology