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Review Commons is a platform for high-quality journal-independent peer-review in the life sciences.

Review Commons provides authors with a Refereed Preprint, which includes the authors’ manuscript, reports from a single round of peer review and the authors’ response. Review Commons also facilitates author-directed submission of Refereed Preprints to affiliate journals to expedite editorial consideration, reduce serial re-review and streamline publication.

Review Commons transfers Refereed Preprints on behalf of the authors to bioRxiv and 17 affiliate journals from EMBO Press, eLife, ASCB, The Company of Biologists, Rockefeller University Press and PLOS.

Review Commons will:

  • Allow reviewers to focus on the science, not specific journal fit.
  • Enrich the value of preprints.
  • Reduce re-reviewing at multiple journals.
  • Accelerate the publishing process by providing journals with high-quality referee reports.

Evaluation model

An independent Managing Editor will liaise with the authors and assign experienced professional editors at EMBO Press to run a high-quality, in-depth peer-review process. The EMBO editors will only invite referees, but not assess the manuscript for their journals. Reviewers may co-review manuscripts with colleagues, e.g. members of their research groups.

The primary purpose of the peer-review process at Review Commons is to provide an in-depth analysis of a scientific study in order to help the authors improve their paper by strengthening the rigor of the work and the clarity of the presentation.

Review Commons also requests reviewers to assess how the study advances the field rather than establishing its fit for a particular journal. The reviews should be scholarly in tone and content will be made public (by default without referee names) unless the authors opt out. As such, reviews should also be useful to all potential readers to better understand the work and its context and to journal editors to make informed decisions.

The technology, workflow and policies of Review Commons are expected to evolve with time. A versioned record of Frequently Asked Questions and other guidelines is kept in the repository http://github.com/review-commons.


Sciety uses the PReF (preprint review features) descriptors to describe key elements of each Group's evaluation activities, helping readers to interpret and compare their evaluations. Learn more.

Review requested by
Reviewer selected by
Editor, service, or community
Public interaction
Inclusion of author response
Review coverage
Complete paper
Reviewer identity known to
Editor or service
Competing interests


Read more about Review Commons.

Content license

All rights reserved and used on Sciety by kind permission from Review Commons.