The practice of peer review is an essential mechanism that is extensively applied in academic publishing to improve the quality and accuracy of scientific record. It is at the core of best practice in scholarly publishing. Reviewer comments can provide excellent insights into the merits and limitations of a manuscript, and often facilitate revisions to improve the robustness and impact of the paper. However, every coin has two sides.
Despite the benefits the peer review process brings for editors, authors, and readers, it can significantly prolong the manuscript turnaround time, and authors often become frustrated by the long waiting time between the submission of their manuscript and its subsequent publication.
The whole submission turnaround time can be much longer if an author has to submit their manuscript to more than one journal after rejection by another. In this process, some high-quality papers may be rejected by top journals in related fields, merely because of limited publication priority and space.
Recognizing this gap and the need for quicker publication times to advance clinical diagnosis and treatments, we are now offering a Rapid Communication Pathway for authors to submit their manuscripts to Journal of Spine Surgery (JSS). Papers submitted through the Rapid Communication Pathway receive priority during the peer review process. An initial decision on a manuscript can be made in around 1 week, and the current median time from submission to acceptance is about 1 month. In rapidly developing fields, editors have expedited peer review and accepted papers within 1 week.
The Rapid Communication Pathway will be considered only for articles to which one of the following applies:
- Articles that make an important, interesting, or timely contribution or comparison to existing state of the art techniques or observations.
- Articles that have undergone standard peer review process by another esteemed peer review journal but rejected prior to submission to JSS.
Any application for the Rapid Commutation Pathway should be made at the time of submission. The manuscript should be accompanied by a cover letter justifying why it should be considered for the Rapid Communication Pathway, as well as a record of previous reviewers’ comments (if any). The approval of a manuscript for the Rapid Communication Pathway does not guarantee the acceptance of the article. Decisions relating to whether an article is suitable for the Rapid Communication Pathway or whether the article will be accepted or rejected rest entirely with the editorial office.
If an article approved for the Rapid Communication Pathway is accepted for publication, it will include a “Provenance and Peer Review” statement in the footnotes for transparency. For examples, please refer to the two articles published in the sister journals of JSS (1,2).
We value and appreciate the contributions of each author and reviewer to JSS and hope that authors will benefit from the Rapid Communication Pathway.
Provenance and Peer Review: This article was commissioned by the editorial office, Journal of Spine Surgery and this article did not undergo external peer review.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Open Access Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits the non-commercial replication and distribution of the article with the strict proviso that no changes or edits are made and the original work is properly cited (including links to both the formal publication through the relevant DOI and the license). See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
- Wu F, Zhou Y, Wang Z, et al. Clinical characteristics of COVID-19 infection in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a multicenter, retrospective, observational study. J Thorac Dis 2020;12:1811-23. [Crossref] [PubMed]
- Huang Z, Cao J, Yao Y, et al. The effect of RAS blockers on the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients with hypertension. Ann Transl Med 2020;8:430. [Crossref] [PubMed]