The idea of the Consortium came from journal editors who saw that many solid manuscripts were being rejected because of space limitations or because the articles were not appropriate for their journals. Authors then resubmit their rejected article to another journal, which must engage another set of peer reviewers. In some cases, the same reviewers are called upon again to provide comments. Overall, the current system is inefficient and wastes reviewer time, a scarce resource. Moreover, it generates extra work for editors, who must spend more time soliciting reviews from an overworked pool of reviewers. It affects the quality of peer review because the best-qualified reviewers are less available to review manuscripts because of the number of reviews they are providing. Authors and readers also pay a price because the publication of research results is delayed by weeks or months as additional reviews are sought.

If reviews obtained by one journal could be re-used by another, a considerable amount of work could be avoided and publication delays could be reduced.

At the PubMed Plus Conference in June 2007, a working group designed the framework for transferring reviews among journals and implemented it as the NPRC. By the fall of 2007, more than a dozen major journals had signed onto the NPRC, sufficient to launch the consortium in January of 2008.

Members of the working group

  • Joshua Sanes, Cochair; Neural Development
  • John Maunsell, J Neurosci
  • Giorgio Ascoli, Neuroinformatics
  • Jan Bjaalie, INCF
  • Paul Carton, Elsevier Science
  • Peter Fox, Hum Brain Mapp
  • Pablo Fernicola, Microsoft
  • Robert Harington, Wiley-Blackwell’s
  • Steve Lisberger, Neurosci [IBRO]
  • Eve Marder, J Neurophys
  • Margaret Reich, American Physiological Society
  • Michael A. Rogawski, Neuropharm
  • Gary Westbrook, J Neurosci