Many biomedical journals offer fast-track peer reviews of scientific articles. Woo-Suk Huang's now- discredited 2005 Science paper about human cloning was accepted 58 days after submission, faster than the journal's 81-day average. Still, it remains unclear what effect, if any, this expedited evaluation has on review quality, rejection rates, or scientific publishing overall.
Some journals define fast-tracking solely as fast reviewing, while others say the term also describes fast publication. The Lancet, British Medical Journal (BMJ), and Journal of Medical Internet Research guarantee publication of successful manuscripts within four weeks of receipt. Other journals, such as The Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research, guarantee reviews in two weeks but no further speed-up in publication.
Journals also vary in the number of...