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They say there are about 25,000 science, technical and medical journals that are peer-reviewed and assessment process for peer-reviewed articles has traditionally involved lengthy mail delays, high postage costs and cumbersome administration.
Now over the last few years, about a dozen companies have developed Web-based peer-review programs that aim to reduce turnaround time, postage bills and workload by automating and tracking the process. Industry observers estimate that 30 percent of scholarly publishers — which include commercial houses, academic presses and nonprofit associations — have adopted the online systems.