Peer Community In

“Peer Community in” (PCI) is a non-profit scientific organization that aims to create specific communities of researchers reviewing and recommending, for free, unpublished preprints in their field.

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The network image was drawn by Martin Grandjean: A force-based network visualization - CC BY-SA.

Past events of PCI webinars series

15th June 2023

Publication bias in ecology and evolutionary biology

by Alfredo Sánchez-Tójar (Department of Evolutionary Biology, Bielefeld University, Germany)


Recently, several worldwide multi-lab replication attempts in the social sciences and medicine have exposed alarmingly low rates of replicability of scientific findings. This ‘Replication Crisis’ – perhaps better named ‘Credibility revolution’, has been the catalysts of a movement towards more open, reliable and transparent science. Although the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology currently lack multi-lab replication projects of similar magnitude to those in the social sciences and medicine, we can obtain indirect but key information about replicability by studying publication bias. Publication bias occurs when a subset of research findings, such as statistically non-significant results, are less likely to appear (or appear earlier) in the scientific literature, leading to a distorted view of the overall evidence for a hypothesis. In this talk, I will introduce (1) what publication bias is and the most commonly observed types of publication bias, (2) briefly explain how we can study publication bias, and (3) showcase some of the most outstanding and worrying examples of publication bias (past and present) in ecology and evolutionary biology. I will finish off my talk by introducing and discussing a few procedure that can help researchers actively combat publication bias and, thus, lead to a less distorted understanding of the natural world.

16th and 20th March 2023

Ethical publishing: how do we get there?

by Fernando Racimo (Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen)


The academic journal publishing model is deeply unethical: today, a few major, for-profit conglomerates control more than 50% of all articles in the natural sciences and social sciences, driving subscription and open-access publishing fees above levels that can be sustainably maintained by publicly funded universities, libraries, and research institutions worldwide. About a third of the costs paid for publishing papers is profit for these dominant publishers’ shareholders, and about half of them covers costs to keep the system running, including lobbying, marketing fees, and paywalls. The paywalls in turn restrict access of scientific outputs, preventing them from being freely shared with the public and other researchers. Thus, money that the public is told goes into science is actually being funneled away from it, or used to limit access to it. Alternatives to this model exist and have increased in popularity in recent years, including diamond open-access journals and community-driven recommendation models. Here, we give a brief overview of the current state of the academic publishing system, including its most important systemic problems. We then describe alternative systems. We explain the reasons why the move toward them can be perceived as costly to individual researchers, and we demystify common roadblocks to change. Finally, in view of the above, we provide a set of guidelines and recommendations that academics at all levels can implement, in order to enable a more rapid and effective transition toward ethical publishing.

What is the PCI webinar series?

-What is it? Seminars on research practices, publication practices, evaluation, scientific integrity, meta-research.
-How does it work? Remote conferences using zoom with registration.
-For whom is it? For anyone interested in scholarly publication, all PCI users, all PCI recommenders who do preprint evaluations for PCI, authors of articles, etc.
-When is it? Once a quarter
-Why is it for? To learn about scholarly publishing, to improve our knowledge about scholarly review, to become better reviewers, to create a sense of community among PCI users. 


See the next event