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Pay for Speedy Review?

Mark Maslin has resigned as an editor for Scientific Reports over a new policy at the journal allowing authors to pay to hasten the peer-review process, ScienceInsider reports. Scientific Reports is one of Nature Publishing Group's open-access journals.

Maslin, a University College London researcher, made his resignation and his reason for it public in a tweet.

"My objections are that it sets up a two-tiered system and instead of the best science being published in a timely fashion it will further shift the balance to well-funded labs and groups," he tells ScienceInsider.

The journal announced last week that this fast-track service, provided by Research Square, would be available to select authors submitting biology manuscript as part of a pilot operation. Authors who pay the $750 to opt into this service are promised a decision on their manuscript within three weeks.

In a blog post, Nature Publishing Group's Nandita Quaderi writes that authors choosing this option would only benefit from a faster decision. "The introduction of this service has no bearing on our editorial decision process — whether we accept, reject, or request revisions," she says.

Malin, though, tells ScienceInsider that "[d]eep consideration and a well thought out review is much more important than its speed. I have had brilliant reviews which have considerably improved my papers and I really appreciated all the time taken."