1.1 Main features
This journal, created and funded by the not-for-profit and non-commercial “Peer Community In” (PCI) organisation, publishes PCI-recommended articles in open access, without further peer review, at no cost to the authors.
The evaluation of articles, by peer review, is performed by each thematic PCI. Once an article has been evaluated, accepted and recommended by a PCI, the authors can opt to publish it in Peer Community Journal.
Peer Community journal is run by researchers for researchers and is funded by public research institutions. It is:
- Unique = it is a single journal for all PCIs.
- Free = it is a diamond open-access journal (free for both authors and readers).
- Exclusive = it publishes only articles recommended by PCI.
- Unconditional = it can publish any PCI-recommended article in its recommended version.
- Opt-in = it publishes articles only if the authors wish it.
- Immediate = there is almost no delay between submission and publication.
- Community-based = it is run by scientists for scientists.
Peer Community journal is indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and was awarded the DOAJ Seal for best practice in open access publishing. It is compliant with Plan S and indexed in the Journal Checker Tool. Peer Community Journal is currently under evaluation by international scientific databases for further indexation.
1.2 Open access policy
Peer Community Journal is a diamond open access journal. It is free for both authors and readers.
The articles published by Peer Community Journal are published under a CC-BY license.
Authors retain the copyright and full publishing rights without restrictions.
According to the submission and evaluation procedures (see below), the submitted version and the accepted version (Author Accepted Manuscript) must be deposited in an open repository. In addition, the published version (Version of Record) can be deposited in an open repository.
1.3 Timeliness and publication volume
Peer Community Journal operates under a continuous publication schedule with one volume per year - volume 1 corresponding to the year 2021.
Acceptance of an article for publication in the journal is conditional on the recommendation by one of the original thematic PCI of the article:
- An article that has been accepted and recommended by a thematic PCI will be accepted unconditionally for publication by the journal.
- An article that has not been recommended by a thematic PCI cannot be submitted to Peer Community Journal.
Peer Community Journal publishes articles dealing with all fields of evolutionary biology, ecology, zoology, neuroscience, paleontology, animal science, archaeology, genomics, mathematical and computational biology, network Science, forest and wood science, biotic interactions, ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry. It will also publish articles based on registered reports dealing with all physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
The articles must describe empirical or theoretical studies, and be based on observations from experiments or nature, or previously acquired data. They may also report the results of verbal, computer or mathematical models. Studies of methodologies are also appreciated. Perspectives, reviews and opinions and comments on previously published articles are also welcome.
Peer Community Journal publishes only articles of high scientific quality that are methodologically and ethically sound. To this end, Peer Community Journal:
- Requires data, computer codes and mathematical and statistical analysis scripts to be made available to reviewers and recommenders at the time of submission and to readers after publication.
- Welcomes reproductions of studies.
- Welcomes submissions based on preregistrations (whether or not reviewed).
- Welcomes articles reporting negative results, provided that the questions addressed and the methodology are sound.
- Does not accept submissions presenting financial conflicts of interest. Other conflicts of interest must be minimal and declared.
For each article, the process of evaluation is performed by one of the original thematic PCI. This evaluation is very similar to the process of article evaluation in ‘traditional’ journals. Just like journal editors, the recommenders appointed by the PCI handle preprints: they are responsible for finding reviewers, collecting reviews, and making editorial decisions based on reviews. They may eventually recommend articles after one or several rounds of review. Preregistration recommendation works in a similar way, with one recommender appointed to handle the preregistration and a few reviewers to judge the value of the proposed study.
3.1 At submission, PCI
- Considers all types of articles (experimental work, theory, review, opinion, etc.)
- Does not impose any format or restrictions in terms of article length, number of figures or tables
- Considers anonymous submissions
- Welcomes reproductions of studies
- Welcomes preregistration submissions and preprint submissions based on preregistrations (with or without prior review)
- Welcomes preprints reporting negative results, provided that the questions addressed and the methodology are sound
- Checks articles for plagiarism with IThenticate
- Checks articles for the absence of conflict of interest (see the definition of a conflict of interest)
- Makes sure that raw data, codes and scripts are available
- Checks that the article is readable (figures)
- Checks the compliance of the article with ethical standards
- Helps authors to suggest appropriate recommenders to handle their article
- Informs authors within 20 days if no recommender can be found to handle the article
3.2 During evaluation, PCI
- Evaluates only articles considered interesting by at least one of the many recommenders
- Provides explicit guideline for the recommender handling the preprints (https://peercommunityin.org/2020/10/28/pci-recommender-guide/)
- Organizes rigorous peer review (https://peercommunityin.org/2020/10/22/pci-reviewer-guide/) for selected articles
- Tries to keep delays as short as possible by sending reminders to reviewers and recommenders to ensure that the necessary tasks are completed promptly
- Verify that the rules of the code of conduct of PCI are followed
- Provides technical assistance to authors, recommenders and reviewers
- Allows authors to follow the evaluation process of their article online
- Makes sure that recommenders obtain at least two reliable review reports before making editorial decisions on the original version of the article
- Makes sure that recommenders make an editorial decision that is reliable and respectful to the authors
3.3 At the revision stage, PCI
- Communicates regularly with the authors to ensure that the revision process is performed correctly and in a timely manner for the preprint concerned
- Allows the authors as much time as they need to revise their article
3.4 In case of acceptance, PCI
- Publishes an open-access citable recommendation with a DOI relating to the entire editorial process (reviews, editorial decisions, author's replies)
- Creates OpenCitations and machine-readable metadata for recommendations
If the article is not recommended, PCI provides authors with transferable reviews
The Peer Community Journal:
- Publishes unconditionally, free of charge, exclusively, immediately (as soon as possible), in open access, any article recommended by a PCI, in accordance with the wishes of the authors.
- Provides a link between the published article and its evaluation and recommendation on the corresponding PCI website.
- Aims to offer the authors of PCI-recommended articles the opportunity to publish in a journal.
- Publishes articles on a rolling basis in thematic sections corresponding to the themes covered by the current PCIs.
- Archives the published articles in CLOCKSS
- Keeps control of the publishing process within the scientific community.
To see what each PCI does before recommendation, please consult the help/How does it work section of each PCI
- It does not provide any language, copyediting or typesetting services. It only checks the accuracy of references.
- It has no other editorial policy than to accept any PCI-recommended articles and only PCI-recommended articles.
- It does not charge fees to authors or readers.
- It does not play the citation metrics (impact factors, etc.) game, and does not display citation metrics on its website.
Peer Community Journal is not an overlay journal. Why? because authors submitting their articles to PCI can use all preprint servers and open archives that currently exist (arXiv, bioRxiv, OSF preprints, HAL, etc.), and some of them:
- Do not accept deposits of formatted articles or versions of record.
- Do not provide any information about the publication of the article in a journal.
Peer Community journal belongs to, and is published and funded by the PCI organisation.
Peer Community Journal is member of the Centre Mersenne for Open Scientific Publishing
The Peer Community Journal is endowed with:
- An editorial board composed of all the managing boards of all the thematic PCIs. The editorial board is responsible for the evaluation of articles by each PCI before their transfer to and publication in Peer Community Journal. It checks and validates editorial decisions made by recommenders (rejection, request of modification or acceptance) and recommendation of articles.
- An executive board composed by the members of the board of the PCI organisation. The executive board:
- is legally responsible for the publication of articles
- manages the logistics, funding, administrative aspects and promotion of the journal
- checks all articles before publication in Peer Community Journal and verifies that articles have the right structure, that data scripts and codes are available, that funding and conflicts of interest are properly disclosed, and that articles have the right format
- when it has knowledge of potential misconduct regarding a paper published in Peer Community Journal, the executive board will ask an ad hoc committee of editors to investigate the case. The ad hoc committee will advise the executive board, and based on COPE's recommendations, the executive board will make a decision on what action to take.
- A managing co-ordinator who is responsible for controlling the workflow for article publication.
Peer Community Journal follows strong ethical principles. Read more on the journal's publication ethics.
Peer Community Journal is supported by more than 50 universities and major research organisations worldwide: see the full list here. Financial support from these universities and organisations covers the publication and running costs of the journal, thus ensuring an open access publication at no cost to the authors.
To get in touch with the journal please use the following e-mail address: email@example.com