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New Organization Plans to Use Independent Peer Review to Put Millions of Hours Back into Research

DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new for-benefit organization named Rubriq has been formed to address the challenges of the peer review system for scientific publishing, and to recover lost hours from redundant reviews so they can be put back into research. In the current journal submission process, rejection is common, yet reviews are rarely passed along from one journal to the next. This leads to reviewers repeating work that has already been done on the same manuscript by other colleagues. Using data from published studies and reports, the Rubriq team estimates that over 15 million hours of time are spent on redundant or unnecessary reviews – every year.


To address this issue, the Rubriq team has been testing a standardized peer review instrument that can be used for any paper that follows the traditional scientific method.  This patent-pending scorecard process will be used for double-blinded peer review by three academic reviewers. Detailed reviewer comments will be accompanied by numerical ratings for each of the sections that can be used to quickly sort papers by quality and impact, and will also produce an overall score (R-Score). The scoring system will be aligned with journal acceptance rates and other key factors, which will allow the Rubriq system to suggest best matches between journals and papers.

For authors, the Rubriq independent peer review system will offer the advantage of a fast (in about a week) pre-submission peer review from three experts in their field, as well as recommendations for the best journal match for their manuscripts. Reviewers will receive compensation for their expedited reviews and will benefit from the efficiency of a standardized scorecard. Journals will have free access to reviews and scores, and can use the data to pre-screen papers to make their own process more efficient.

"An independent, standard approach to scientific peer review is long overdue," said Keith Collier, Rubriq's co-founder and former Vice President at Thomson Reuters. "And unlike other proposals to revamp peer review, the Rubriq system will not only preserve the value of rigorous pre-publication review, but also can be used effectively by any publishing model, including traditional subscription journals, as well as Green and Gold Open Access journals. "

Rubriq is actively recruiting reviewers in all fields, and is now accepting manuscripts for a beta version of its service in the fields of immunology, cancer biology and microbiology.  Visitors to the web site ( can sign up to participate as an author, reviewer and journal editor with a single account. The Rubriq system seeks to serve the scientific community with innovation that improves the process of peer review and journal matching.

"We are actively seeking input from the research, publishing, and funding communities," said Shashi Mudunuri, Rubriq's other co-founder and CEO of Research Square. "Through discussions and our beta tests, we hope to engage all the different stakeholders in the publishing process to create a new approach that benefits everyone and ultimately puts time and money back into research."

About Rubriq

Rubriq introduces a streamlined yet rigorous model for scientific research peer review and journal matching. By incentivizing reviewers, compressing the process from months to a few weeks and assigning an independent, quantitative score (R-Score) to research papers, the Rubriq model benefits authors, reviewers and publishers. Rubriq—whose name embodies a well-established set of parameters and the process of review—is an independent, for-benefit division of Research Square (, and was founded by a team of seasoned experts who are former researchers and scientific publishing industry experts. For more information, visit

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