Scholarly Kitchen blog reported -
[Game of Papers: eLife, BMC, PLoS and EMBO Announce New Peer Review Consortium
An old saw, borrowing from Churchills quip about democracy, is that peer review is the worst system for validating research except for all the others. Another effort to improve this much-maligned process has been announced. eLife, BioMed Central (BMC), the Public Library of Science (PLoS), and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) will be forming a new peer review consortium based around the concept of what eLife calls portable peer review.
In the new system, the authors can make necessary technical changes to the paper and port peer reviews from one journal to another so that they do not have to start all over with another set of reviewers with new set of useless objections.
For more details, please check Minda Robertson’s reporting at BMC -
How smooth a passage is transfer from eLife likely to be? Authors offered the transfer option will be warned that the recipient journal may seek further advice, and its impossible to say how often this is likely to happen. BMC Biology will generally avoid it as far as possible, in favour of checking the existing reports with an appropriate Editorial Board member.
Clear technical flaws are of course likely to preclude publication in any of eLifes transfer partners: what the portable peer review system allows is the operation of different editorial judgements of what is interesting or important without serial assessements of technical validity.
On the importance of a paper there is an element of informed guessing in most decisions made by journals; Marc Kirschner argued persuasively at the peer review panel discussion we recently held in Boston that the importance of a paper can often be judged reliably only long after its publication (citing restriction enzymes, which are the most egregious example). Interest is still more prone to fashion and the prejudices (inevitable, with the best will in the world) of referees or editors.