Steps in the creation of a new PCI

1) Choose one or two colleagues to set up and manage the PCI

Having at least two administrators improves the monitoring and sustainability of the project.

Setting up the PCI involves defining the subject it will cover, establishing a first group of recommenders, and submitting the project for validation by the PCI association.

Administration of the PCI involves appointing more recommenders, encouraging preprint submissions and ensuring that the evaluation and recommendation processes are managed correctly.

2) Define the subject

The subject should be defined carefully. It can be wide or narrow. A wider subject may attract more papers, resulting in a more selective PCI. However, if the subject is too wide, the various members of the community may fail to identify themselves as belonging to the PCI concerned. Not everyone in the field will join the PCI, so, if it is too narrow, the community it attracts may be unsustainable. Statistics on preprint use in each field may be helpful (e.g.

Try to make sure that the new PCI does not overlap too much with other existing or forthcoming PCIs (contact us –– for verification).

3) Establish a first group of recommenders

You will need to establish a group of 20 to 50 recommenders. This initial group of recommenders must be high-quality scientists, recognized in the field, with as many international members of possible, members of learned societies and of editorial boards of renowned journals in the field, and winners of prizes or competitions, for example. The success of a PCI depends on the inclusion of both high-profile senior scientists and dynamic young researchers. Gender parity is also desirable.

4) Submit your proposal to the PCI association for approval

The creation of a new PCI must be approved by the non-profit “Peer Community in” organization. The members of the managing boards of the existing PCIs form the board of this organization. Send your proposal (1 to 2 pages, indicating the motivation behind the creation of your PCI, its subject and the names of the administrators and the first group of recommenders) to for approval by the PCI association.

5) Recruit more recommenders

Once the PCI has been validated, you should use the first group of recommenders to appoint more recommenders. This process should take place after the creation of the website for the PCI, protected by a password to prevent general public access, providing a means of registering new recommenders.

6) Set up a managing board

Once a certain predefined number of recommenders have been recruited (e.g. 50, 100 or 200), a managing board should be defined. The members of this managing board are responsible for validating editorial decisions concerning the preprints submitted, approving the nomination of new recommenders and dealing with potential problems arising between authors and the recommenders responsible for evaluating and/or recommending preprints (see the FAQ). The managing board must have five to 15 recommenders and must include the administrators.

7) Open publicly the PCI: receive submissions and manage evaluations

The management of a submitted preprint – from its submission to its rejection or recommendation, excluding the evaluation by the recommender and the reviewers – takes about two hours, on average. The administrators decide for themselves how best to organize preprint management (shared between administrators, managing board members, recommenders, or other people).


We can help you by providing extensive documentary resources about PCI, including short movies, and templates of messages for the invitation of co-founders and recommenders. If the creation of your PCI is accepted, we will provide you with a fully functional website (front and back office) and help you to manage the first few (about 20, probably) preprints submitted.

Send any questions to contact[ at ]peercommubityin[ dot ]org

In summary

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