The traditional publication track involves manuscript writing, submission, peer review, editing, and final publication in the journal. It spans a period of several months to a year depending on factors such as field of study, availability of peer reviewers, and the journal’s publication frequency.
However, today, scientific research, publication, and the researchers’ career progression depend not only on quality but speed as well. Certain scientific fields like immunology and clinical research require immediate publication as they influence critical healthcare related developments which the conventional publication process can’t provide.
Keeping this requirement in mind, several journals and publishers have started offering rapid publication to minimise publication delays.
What is rapid publication?
Rapid publication is an accelerated publication track that assures journal’s decision (or even publication) within weeks or days of submitting your manuscript.
How do rapid publication journals work?
The most in-depth and consistent stages of the conventional publication process are peer review and manuscript editing or finalisation.
Most rapid publication journals opt for post-publication peer review and open access to reduce time delays and manage large submission volumes. After the initial submission, the journals screen the manuscript only for basic accuracy, relevance, originality, plagiarism, and extent of a match with the journal’s scope. The approved manuscripts are published online as un-reviewed versions.
These manuscripts are then reviewed after publication along with the reviewer comments. Besides, some journals
- Publish the manuscripts on open platforms and invite comments from a larger and more varied readership. OR
- Opt for open peer reviews wherein the identity of the reviewer(s) is disclosed.
After the review, authors can revise their manuscripts which are published online. Most rapid publication journals are open access and publish the content under the creative commons license. This allows users to freely use the content as long as it is attributed appropriately. Of course, the journals offering rapid publication charge a premium fee for faster publication.
What are the benefits of rapid publication?
Rapid publication benefits the authors as well as the publishers mutually.
Benefits to authors
- A competitive edge: Scientific research is extremely competitive and your reputation as a researcher largely depends on your published papers. The faster you publish your findings, the greater is the competitive edge you have over your peers.
- Fewer chances of getting scooped: It is always possible that another researcher is investigating the same topic as yours. So the researcher who gets published first receives the credit. Seeing someone else receive a credit for your original idea or getting “scooped” is a researcher’s worst nightmare. The rapid publication can help you avoid getting scooped and ensures you get credit for your original ideas.
- Meet application deadlines: Often publication is a prerequisite for research grants or postdoctoral positions which are time-bound. Shorter journal turnaround times will help you meet your application deadlines. Having a list of published papers will also strengthen your applications for grants or postdoctoral positions.
- Increased visibility in a fast-paced environment: A shorter publication journey builds your publication profile rapidly boosting the global visibility of your published papers.
Benefits for publishers
- Staying ahead of the game: Even journals compete amongst themselves to report scientific findings. One who publishes reliable and original scientific research rapidly is more likely to be considered as the go-to source for information about the latest developments in the field.
- Increased submissions: Rapid publication ensures that authors don’t have to wait for long and such a journal enjoys a better reputation in their eyes. Consequently, such a journal attracts more submissions from a wider author base across the globe.
- Increased efficiency: Rapid publication reduces manuscript processing time and helps the journals to achieve more efficient production systems to deal with a high number of submissions.
The final verdict
Rapid publication is your solution to deal with the lengthy process of journal submission and publication. However, you need to be cautious with rapid publication.
- Choose the right journal
The immense competition and pressure to publish in the scientific world has also given rise to bogus and suspicious publishers who lure authors for their publication success but are actually predators stealing your original ideas. Read the information on the journal’s website carefully and don’t get carried away by their promises.
- Understand the journal’s process of publication
You should know and understand how the post-publication review process of the journal will help you with a critical assessment of the quality of your research. Weigh the pros and cons of both traditional and rapid publication process and opt for the one that adds more value to your research.
Rapid publication and post-publication peer review are recent trends and still under evaluation for their value to scientific development. Always consider the extent to which your research and/or career will benefit from it and choose the right publication support services accordingly.
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