New MIT Press journal Rapid Reviews\Infectious Diseases will extend fight against disinformation to more infectious diseases and emerging pandemics

With the launch of Rapid Reviews\Infectious Diseases, the editorial team behind Rapid Reviews\COVID-19 applies their successful preprint review model to new research on infectious diseases like monkeypox, dengue fever, or herpes, in addition to COVID-19

The MIT Press and UC Berkeley School of Public Health proudly announce the launch of Rapid Reviews\Infectious Diseases (RR\ID). Building on the accomplishments of Rapid Reviews\COVID-19 (RR\C19), the Rapid Reviews editorial team is now setting their sights even higher. 

Stefano Bertozzi, editor-in-chief of RR\ID.

RR\C19 launched at a critical moment in global history and we are incredibly proud of the impact the journal has had so far,” said Stefano Bertozzi, editor-in-chief of RR\ID and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. “But when monkeypox started to spread in 2022, we saw an immediate need for authoritative peer review of emerging medical and public health topics. We built RR\C19 to be authoritative, fast, and flexible, and now RR\ID will adapt our open ‘curate, review, publish’ model for the advancement of infectious disease research throughout the world. We are grateful for the support from the MIT Press, Lynn Barr & Bob Campbell, and the Gates Foundation that has made this shift possible.”

With RR\ID, the editors will provide expert, professional peer review of research on a wider variety of infectious diseases and other pressing global threats. With new grant funding, they will also scale up their unique student training and mentoring model to support open science and democratize academic publishing through engagement with at least 12 academic institutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).

The mission of Rapid Reviews remains the same—to prevent the dissemination of false or misleading scientific information and to accelerate the validation and diffusion of robust, impactful scientific findings through rapid peer review. To accomplish this, the editorial team of RR\ID will continue to engage with global academic communities and leverage AI to ensure a level of rigor that clinicians, researchers, journalists, policy makers, and others worldwide can rely on to make sound judgments about current crises and their amelioration.

But in order to more fully democratize public access to reliable research studies from the global scientific community, the team also plans to improve how young researchers and scientists from LMIC are included in the “closed-door” ecosystem of traditional scientific publishing. 

“In the past, academic publishing has been too expensive, too exclusive, and somewhat unbalanced, especially for our colleagues in LMICs, where inclusion has not always been equitable,” explains Hildy Fong Baker, managing director of RR\ID. “By introducing the next generation of researchers in LMICs to our editorial process of selecting preprints and identifying peer reviewers, we will not only welcome them to embrace open publishing initiatives and train them to conduct quality peer review, but also create a deep understanding of scientific publishing and communications.”

Launched in the early days of the pandemic, RR\C19 was the first open-access overlay journal to conduct rapid formal peer reviews of COVID-19-related research preprints. It has now completed more than 600 reviews and is currently the second largest overlay journal in existence. Recognized with the 2022 Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Award for Innovation in Journal Publishing, its efforts have been highlighted in mainstream media outlets, such as the New York Times (for its contributions in debunking the Yan Paper in 2020), the Washington Post, and the Hill.

About the MIT Press

Established in 1962, the MIT Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. MIT Press publications are known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, interdisciplinary focus, and distinctive design.

About the UC Berkeley School of Public Health

For 75 years and counting, the UC Berkeley SPH has been dedicated to making a transformative impact on the health of populations through its values of health as a right, strength through diversity, think forward, and impact first. To eliminate inequity and injustice that affects the health and dignity of all people, SPH is committed to radical public health collaborations that challenge conventional thinking, leverage technology, and build bridges between research, public policy, education, and action.

Media contact:

Jessica Pellien
The MIT Press

Learn more about Rapid Reviews\Infectious Diseases