Authors : Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Yuki Yamada
Some journals and publishers offer a free or paid rapid peer review service. In the latter case, such a service is offered at a premium, i.e., for an additional fee, and authors receive, in return, a privileged service, namely faster peer review.
In the cut-throat world of survival in academia, the difference of a few weeks or months in terms of speed of peer review and publication may bring untold benefits to authors that manage to benefit from accelerated peer review.
We examine the deontological aspects behind this two-tier peer review system, including some positive, but mainly negative, aspects. Some paid accelerated peer review services thrive.
We examine the paid accelerated peer review services by Taylor & Francis, Future Medicine Ltd., Elsevier, and two stand-alone journals that are OASPA members. This suggests that there is a demand, and thus market, for faster peer review.
However, this privilege risks creating a two-tiered system that may divide academics between those who can pay versus those who cannot.
We recommend that those papers that have benefited from accelerated peer review clearly indicate this in the published papers, as either a disclaimer or within the acknowledgements, for maximum transparency of the peer review and publication process.