I was chatting with Chris Chambers on Twitter last night about ways we could speed up the peer review process at RRiK. Chris mentioned the idea of using some kind of presubmission at the earliest stage of the write up so that reviewers could be found while the author finishes the Stage 1 report. For me, this would likely be similar to the documents provided as part of an ethics application and should outline the project in enough detail so that fundamental flaws might be highlighted while short enough that a handling editor could review in half an hour. My aim would be that these submissions would be turned around within close to 72-hours. Once the presub is accepted, the handling editor approaches potential reviewers while the author completes the Stage 1 report. The hope is that this would minimise the time authors would be left in limbo between waiting for reviewer feedback and the time when they can start collecting data. We know that lots of our members are ECRs and cannot really afford to wait weeks before starting data collection so hopefully combining this with guaranteed acceptance at Stage 2 may make RRiK an attractive option.
All that said, I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on how this could be improved or any concerns regarding operationalising the idea.