Peer review in scientific publications - Science and Technology Committee Contents

Supplementary written evidence submitted by The Royal Society (PR 69a)

You indicated that it would also be helpful if we could offer a view on:


Cascading peer review certainly has advantages in saving time and resources and avoiding multiple rounds of peer review on the same article. However, authors invariably have firm views on the journal they want to publish in. If they are rejected from their first choice they generally prefer to select the next choices themselves, rather than simply having their article passed automatically to another of that publisher's journals. We would prefer a "soft" cascading approach whereby the publisher offers an alternative journals to the author. Provided the journals are sufficiently similar in terms of scope, peer review systems, standards, etc. it could then be possible to expedite an efficient transfer and acceptance of the article.


Corrections and retractions are published when published articles are later found to be inaccurate, misleading or fraudulent. As the article of record is online, it is easy to publish a correction or retraction alongside the original article in a highly visible and timely manner. Corrections and retractions are not behind any pay wall and are therefore free to access. We are part of a pilot of a new initiative, CrossMark, which will make the existence of corrections, retractions etc. far more transparent and trackable, even in archived PDF versions of documents which are no longer online.

10 May 2011

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Prepared 28 July 2011