1. Submission procedure and workflow

2. Editorial policy

3. Requirements for submission to the thematic PCIs

4. Formatting your article for the Peer Community Journal

5. Pressubmission checklist

6. What happens after your submission to PCJ?


 

1. Submission procedure and workflow

Peer Community Journal publishes only articles first peer-reviewed and recommended by one of the thematic PCIs (see current thematic PCIs). The editorial policy, evaluation process, and appeal process of the Peer Community Journal are those of the thematic PCIs.

 

 

1) Deposit your article on a preprint server or in an open archive and obtain a DOI (or another unique identifier). Data, statistical scripts, command lines and simulation code must made available to reviewers and recommenders at the time of submission and to readers after recommendation. After recommendation, they must be available to readers, either in the text or through a correctly versioned deposit in an open repository with a DOI or another permanent identifier. Templates for preprints are available for word and latex users (no google docs here because line numbering is impossible in google docs).

2) Submit your article to one of the thematic PCIs according to their scope. Please consult the guide for authors of the corresponding PCI.

3) In case of acceptance by the thematic PCI, your article is recommended. 

4) Submit your article to the Peer Community Journal for publication by completing a basic form on the journal website and uploading a formatted version of your manuscript (see below section 4. Formatting your article for Peer Community Journal).

The instructions described below are those of the thematic PCIs.


2. Editorial policy​

2.1 Scope

2.2 Editorial criteria

2.3 Types of articles

2.4 Repeatability of science and open science

2.5 Ethics

2.6 New taxon names

2.1 Scope​​​

You should choose one of the thematic PCIs, according to the topic of your article, for submission. The scope of the PCIs is not exhaustive. Please look at the current thematic PCIs to decide which is the most suitable for your article.

2.2 Editorial criteria

​The Peer Community Journal publishes only preprints recommended by the thematic PCIs as of high scientific quality and methodologically and ethically sound. To this end, the thematic PCIs: 
- Require raw data, computer codes and mathematical and statistical analysis scripts to be made available at least to reviewers and recommenders at the time of submission, and also to readers after recommendation. 
- Welcome reproductions of studies. 
- Welcome preprint submissions based on preregistrations (whether or not reviewed) 
- Welcome preprints reporting negative results, provided that the questions addressed and the methodology are sound. 
- Do not accept submissions of preprints presenting financial conflicts of interest. Other conflicts of interest must be minimal and declared. 
- Ensure that, as far as possible, the recommenders and referees have no conflict of interest with the content or authors of the study being evaluated. 

The thematic PCIs do not guarantee the evaluation or recommendation of all submitted preprints. Only preprints considered interesting by at least one competent recommender (equivalent to an associate editor in a classical journal) from the thematic PCI to which the preprint is submitted will be peer-reviewed. The interest of the preprint, as determined by the recommender, can relate to its context, the scientific question addressed, the methodology, or the results. Each thematic PCI has a large number of recommenders, ensuring a considerable diversity of interests.

2.3 Types of article

The articles recommended may be of different types: reviews, comments, opinion papers, research articles, data papers, technical notes, computer notes, etc. Preregistrations should be submitted to PCI Registered Reports.​

2.4 Repeatability of science and open science​

The Peer Community Journal wishes to promote scientific repeatability and reliability, to improve the overall robustness and integrity of science.

To this end, the Peer Community Journal has established three mandatory rules and makes two additional suggestions to authors:

Mandatory rules:

Articles published by the Peer Community Journal must provide readers with: 

-Raw data, made available directly in the text or through an open repository, such as Zenodo, Dryad or some other institutional repository (see Directory of Open Access Repositories) with a DOI. Data must be reusable, and the metadata and accompanying text must, therefore, carefully describe them.

-Details of quantitative analyses (e.g. data processing and statistical scripts in R, bioinformatic pipeline scripts, etc.) and simulations (scripts, codes) must be provided either in the text or through a correctly versioned deposit in an open repository, such as Zenodo, Dryad or some other institutional repository (see Directory of Open Access Repositories) with a DOI or another permanent identifier (such as a SWHID of Software heritage). Note that Git URLS are not permanent. Information on how to issue a DOI for a GitHub repository is given at https://docs.github.com/en/repositories/archiving-a-github-repository/referencing-and-citing-content. The scripts or codes must be carefully described such that another researcher can run them. 

-Details of experimental procedures must be provided in the text.​

Suggestions to authors:

-The Peer Community Journal encourages authors to use preregistrations. Authors may post their research questions and analysis plan to an independent registry before observing the research outcomes, and, thus, before writing and submitting their article to a thematic PCI. This provides a way of clarifying their hypotheses, avoiding confusing “postdictions” and predictions, and carefully planning appropriate statistical processing of the data (e.g. see 10.1073/pnas.1708274114).​​​

-For evaluation and recommendation, preregistrations should be submitted to PCI Registered Reports

-The Peer Community Journal welcomes recommended articles proposing replication studies. All submissions are assessed by the thematic PCIs according to the same criteria, provided that the article is considered interesting by the recommender handling it and the research question is judged to be scientifically valid.​​​

2.5 Ethics​

The Peer Community Journal is published by Peer Community In, which is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). In addition, articles published by the Peer Community Journal respect the ethical principles defined by the European Association for Science Editors and by the International Committee of Medical Journal EditorsThe following guidelines are adapted from the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and of the EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles to be Published in English. Peer Community In prepared this reprint. The ICMJE and the EASE have not endorsed nor approved the contents of this reprint. The official version of the ICMJE Recommendations and the EASE guidelines are located respectively at www.ICMJE.org and at https://ease.org.uk/.

Ethical oversight

The Managing Board of each thematic PCI (who belongs to the editorial board of the journal) is responsible for monitoring the ethical aspects of submitted articles. Reviewers are invited to expose their concerns (if any) about ethics or scientific misconduct during peer review. 
iThenticate’s CrossCheck software is used to detect plagiarism.

Original or acceptable secondary publication

Use of copyright material

If authors reproduce previously published materials (eg figures), they must ask the copyright owners for permission and mention them in the captions or in the acknowledgments.

Authorship

Ethical experimentation and interpretation

Case reports and informed consent

As stated in the Rules for Submission of Articles to Biomedical Journals, proposed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, 2019), patients' right to privacy prohibits the publication of articles without informed consent. No information should identify patients, neither in text or photos, nor in an indirect manner (descriptions of individual case histories, photos, X-rays, genetic pedigrees…).

In the case of articles reporting on research involving human subjects, the authors must specifically describe their study's compliance with the ethical rules set up by the responsible Ethics Committee and by the Declaration of Helsinki of the World Association of Physicians (WMA) revised in 2013. Unless written consent is obtained from the patient, identifying details must be removed before submission of the article (including illustrations and videos). This requirement also applies when a report involves deceased persons.

Should consent from a patient be requested, authors of the articles concerned must attest that the relevant form has been signed by the patient or a proxy.

The journal does not collect the signed patient forms: authors should attest that the original of the signed form is held by the treating institution.

Best research practices

Acknowledgments

Conflict of interest

Complaints and appeal process

Authors of rejected manuscripts can appeal against the thematic PCI decision within 30 days of receiving it, by contacting the managing board of the thematic PCI at the contact email address. Appeals will be considered by the specialist recommender(s) that handled the manuscript and the thematic PCI Managing Board. Decisions following appeal are final.

Data sharing and reproducibility

See the paragraph "2.4 Repeatability of science and open science" ​above.

Misconducts
Peer Community Journal will follow the recommendations of COPE (the Committee on Publication Ethics) in the event of misconduct. 
When the executive board of Peer Community Journal has knowledge of potential misconduct regarding a paper published in Peer Community Journal, it will ask an ad hoc committee of editors to investigate the case. The ad hoc committee will advise the Executive Board of the journal, and based on COPE's recommendations, the Executive Board will make a decision on what action to take.
Retractions, expressions of concern, or corrections may be published by the journal.

Intellectual property

The articles published by Peer Community Journal are published under a CC-BY license. Authors retain the copyright and full publishing rights without restrictions.

Post-publication discussions and corrections

Readers are invited to submit articles discussing articles published by Peer Community Journal. These submissions should be submitted to the corresponding thematic PCI for evaluation and then, in case of acceptance, transferred to Peer Community Journal for publication.
In case of misconduct, retractions, expressions of concern or corrections may be published by the journal.

Use of artificial intelligence for article writing and software code generation

-Authorship and artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence cannot be considered an author of an article submitted to PCI because  "All people listed as authors of the MS meet the authorship criteria, i.e. they contributed substantially to study planning, data collection or the interpretation of results and wrote or critically revised the MS and approved its final submitted version and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work (ICMJE 2017)."

-Citing artificial intelligence
Scientists use sophisticated tools such as artificial intelligence to write text or software code. This is similar to using language proofreading services. Authors are invited to disclose such use in the acknowledgments of the article so that it is public information.

-Artificial intelligence and intellectual property
Plagiarism issues may arise when using artificial intelligence because they may generate texts identical to texts found in existing sources. Authors must ensure that no part of the manuscript has been published except for passages that are properly cited.

Reference Sources

https://www.ease.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/doi.10.20316.ESE_.2018.44.e1.pdf

https://www.wma.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/DoH-Oct2013-JAMA.pdf

http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf

https://ethics.iit.edu/ecodes/node/5487

2.6 New taxon names​

Electronic publication of new taxonomic names is now permitted by the relevant codes of nomenclature. However, a certain number of requirements must be met for the electronic version of the work and the new names to be considered published. Authors of new zoological, botanical, and fungal names must comply with the following requirements.

Zoological names

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) allows electronic publication of new zoological names and nomenclatural acts as long as the work in which they appear is properly archived and registered. Details of the publication must be entered into Zoobank, the official ICZN registry. Peer Community Journal is archived in CLOCKSS and will appear as a known journal during the Zoobank registration process.

Authors must register their publication and their new names into Zoobank to obtain corresponding LSIDs (Life Science Identifiers). For nomenclatural acts other that a new species, genus, or family name, only the registration of the published work is currently mandatory.

In the Systematics or Results section, the LSID must be listed after each new species, genus, and family name, for example:

Homo naledi sp. nov.

urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:C85CAAC2-658B-4189-B1D8-F9488F67E544

In the Methods section, authors must also include the following statement:

"The electronic version of this article conforms with the requirements of the amended International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). Hence the new names and nomenclatural acts contained herein are effectively published under that Code from the electronic edition alone. This published work and the nomenclatural acts it contains have been registered in ZooBank, the online registration system for the ICZN. The ZooBank LSIDs (Life Science Identifiers) can be resolved and the associated information viewed through any standard web browser by appending the LSID to the prefix “http://zoobank.org/”. The LSID for this publication is: urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:XXXXXXX. The electronic edition of this work is archived and available from the following digital repositories: Peer Community Journal and CLOCKSS."

Botanical names

Since January 2012, the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) recognizes electronic work published with an ISSN or an ISBN as effectively published under the Code. It is also accepted that the description or diagnosis of a new taxon can be given in either Latin or English. For vascular plants and fungi, please see the additional requirements below.

For vascular plants

Peer Community Journal requires new names, new combinations, or replacement names to be registered into the International Plant Names Index (IPNI).

The LSIDs (Life Science Identifiers) obtained from the IPNI should be listed under the new names in the Systematics or Results section. And the following text should be added in the Methods section:

"The electronic version of this article conforms with the requirements of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). Hence the new names and nomenclatural acts contained herein are effectively published under that Code from the electronic edition alone. In addition, new names contained in this work have been submitted to the International Plant Names Index (IPNI), from where they will be made available to the Global Names Index. The IPNI LSIDs can be resolved and the associated information viewed through any standard web browser by appending the LSID to the prefix https://ipni.org/. The electronic edition of this work is archived and available from the following digital repositories: Peer Community Journal and CLOCKSS."

For fungi

Authors need to contact either MycoBank or Index Fungorum to obtain a LSID (Life Science identifier) for their new name or nomenclatural act (mandatory since January 1st, 2013). The LSID must be included in the protologue. Authors must also add the following text in the Methods section (update as necessary):

"The electronic version of this article conforms with the requirements of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). Hence the new names and nomenclatural acts contained herein are effectively published under that Code from the electronic edition alone. In addition, new names contained in this work have been submitted to the MycoBank / Index Fungorum, from where they will be made available to the Global Names Index. The LSIDs can be resolved and the associated information viewed through any standard web browser by appending the LSID to the prefix https://www.MycoBank.org/MB/ OR http://www.indexfungorum.org/Names/NamesRecord.asp?RecordID=. The electronic edition of this work is archived and available from the following digital repositories: Peer Community Journal and CLOCKSS."


3. Requirements for submission to the thematic PCIs

3.1 Deposition of the MS and supplementary information, submission to a thematic PCI, recommendation by the thematic PCI

3.2 Ethics

When submitting their manuscripts to a thematic PCI, authors should agree to respect the ethical principles described above.


4. Formatting your article for Peer Community Journal

4.1 Why do we ask you to format your article?

4.2 Structure of your article

4.3 If you formatted your article with the PCI submission template

4.4 If you did not use the PCI submission template

4.4.1 For LaTex users

4.4.2 For Microsoft Word or LibreOffice/OpenOffice users

4.4.3 For Google Docs users

4.1 Why do we ask you to format your article?

Articles submitted to PCJ must be in a standard format in order to be published. There are 3 ways to achieve this: Authors format their articles, we format the articles, or we pay staff to format the articles. Commercial journals usually use the 3rd option. Since PCJ is a diamond journal, it cannot afford this. Until now, we have assumed that we do not have the time to format all the articles submitted to PCJ ourselves. That's why we ask authors to format their articles themselves. However, we do format a fair number of them if the authors are unable to do so. If you can't format your article yourself, just ask us.
Why do we ask for a Bibtex export of your references during the submission process?
We need to receive the references of each article in a structured form, i.e. with each element (year, title, volume, etc.) separated and tagged. This is to create the metadata associated with the article and to correctly declare the article to databases (e.g. crossref). Most journals pay for an expensive service to convert the article references into structured references. At PCJ we cannot afford to pay for this service. We therefore ask authors to export their article references in bibtex format from their reference management software. If you have difficulty exporting your references, please contact us. For LaTex users, if you only have a colossal bib file containing the references of your entire life, you should reduce it to the references of your submitted article by using the instructions you can find there

4.2 Structure of your article

The text should begin with the introduction, with no cover page, header, footer, line number or page number. Templates are available for word, Google Docs and Latex users.
We will add a cover page, headers and footers to the pdf of your article after submission (an example of an article can be seen here).

The following sections are mandatory: 

4.3 If you formatted your article with the PCI submission template

Just follow this procedure after the recommendation:

Prepare a bibtex export of your article’s references (not of your whole reference collection). Such export file is easily obtained from your reference management software (Endnote, Zotero, Mendeley, …). For LaTex users, if you only have a colossal bib file containing the references of your entire life, you should reduce it to the references of your submitted article by using the instructions you can find there.

4.4 If you did not use the PCI submission template

Your article should be prepared with the Peer Community Journal templates available on https://osf.io/kmwfv. These templates are available for word, Google Docs and latex users.

4.4.1 For LaTex users

Simply download and use the PCJ latex package, and please add the option mode=plain to the classcopy. Paste your text, figures, tables, etc. into the PCJ-sample.tex file, change the PCJ-sample.bib file, add the required image files. Do not fill the metadata fields (names, affiliations, emails, etc.).

Prepare a bibtex file of your article’s references (not of your whole reference collection). If you only have a colossal bib file containing the references of your entire life, you should reduce it to the references of your submitted article by using the instructions you can find there.

4.4.2 For Microsoft Word or LibreOffice/OpenOffice users

Download the word template file, save it into your working folder, and follow the instructions below.

4.4.2.1 If you start a document from scratch

4.4.2.2 If you want to format an existing document

4.4.2.3 Format your text

Re-open the PCJ.dotx template to see how the document should be structured and to see all the annotations that we made to help you prepare your article according to the template. It also shows you some mandatory content.

==> Do not include any front page containing the title, authors' names and affiliations, keywords, and abstract. We will insert these items ourselves after the submission of your article.

==> Do not include any footer, line number, page numbers, or header. We will insert these items ourselves after the submission of your article.

==> Do not insert blank lines or tabs; just use the predefined styles. You may exceptionally use blank lines to avoid big empty spaces before or after figures or to avoid cutting tables into 2 parts.

==> Add the mandatory content (in the acknowledgments, funding, conflict of interest, and data, code, script, and supplementary information availability sections) as shown in the template file.

==> Check that all the margins of all sections are set (top, left, right, bottom) to 2.54 cm

==> Use the predefined PCJ styles to format your document:

The PCJ styles appear in the style gallery of Word. You may have to make the style gallery appear.

Click on the text you want to format (e.g. a section title) and then click on the corresponding predefined PCJ style in the style gallery (e.g. “PCJ Section”).

Use the following predefined PCJ styles in the corresponding parts of the document:

4.4.2.4 Format your references

Please carefully check that all the references cited in the text are in the reference list, and reciprocally

Please also check that the references are complete (with authors, title, year, volume number, page number or article number and DOI at the end) and correct. If any of the preprints listed in your reference list have been published in a journal in the meantime, you may either leave the reference to the preprint or indicate the reference to the journal - in the latter case, please update your reference list accordingly.

References may be formatted using the following styles (right-click and save as...):

These styles should first be imported into your reference management software (Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote).

References should mandatorily:

Note that, during the submission process, you will be asked to provide a bibtex export of your article’s references (not of your whole reference collection). Such export file is easily obtained from your reference management software (Endnote, Zotero, Mendeley, …). For LaTex users, if you only have a colossal bib file containing the references of your entire life, you should reduce it to the references of your submitted article by using the instructions you can find there.

4.4.2.5 Save your document

Once your document is fully formatted, save it as a .docx file and then as a PDF file.

4.4.3 For Google Docs users

Use the Google Docs template. Use the predefined PCJ styles to format your document (see 4.4.2 - For Microsoft Word or LibreOffice/OpenOffice users).


5. Presubmission checklist

Before submitting your recommended article to Peer Community Journal, please make sure that:


6. What happens after submission to PCJ?

After you submit your article to Peer Community Journal, we will:

These editorial tasks are done by the journal managing co-ordinator, and by voluntary researchers who kindly agreed to help supporting Peer Community Journal this way. Unlike journal published by big publishers, Peer Community Journal does not outsource formating tasks to private companies. 

Thanks in advance for easing their work ;-)!