Recommenders of a Peer Community in X manage the evaluation and recommend articles which have not been yet peer-reviewed – typically unpublished preprints deposited on an open repository. They can also recommend already been peer-reviewed, corresponding for instance to preprints recommended by another Peer Community in X or articles published in traditional scientific journals.
Recommendation of preprints (i.e. articles not yet peer-reviewed)
- A group of authors deposits a preprint on an open repository, such as arXiv, bioRxiv, etc., and the corresponding author submit the preprint to a Peer Community in X to obtain a recommendation (a dedicated webpage serves this purpose). Doing so, he/she certifies that this preprint is not under consideration by a traditional journal or by another Peer Community in X. He/she also declares that he/she will wait at least 20 days before either submitting this preprint to a journal or soliciting another Peer Community in X. This delay allows the solicited Peer Community in X to initiate a recommendation process.
- Recommenders of the Peer Community in X are alerted by the submission. If one recommender finds the preprint particularly interesting, he/she can decide to initiate the evaluation process. He/she becomes the “recommender” (i.e. the editor) of this preprint.
- The “recommender” finds at least 2 reviewers within or outside Peer Community in X, on the basis of his/her expertise. The reviewers write their reviews. The “recommender” continues to solicit reviews until he/she obtains at least 2 high-quality reviews.
- After the “recommender” reaches a decision, he/she sends the reviews (which may or may not be written anonymously, at the reviewer’s discretion) and the decision to the authors and asks for modifications, if required. He/she eventually writes a short text of recommendation (alone or with co-recommenders) explaining the recommendation, when all the requested modifications have been made.
- The recommendation text signed by the recommender and co-recommenders, all reviews (anonymous or not), and the link to the last version of the manuscript are sent to the Managing board of Peer Community in X. Before sending their recommendation and review, all recommenders and reviewers will have to certify that they have no conflict of interests of any kind with the content and with the authors of the article, and that they are not recommending or reviewing an article published by close colleagues, recent co-authors, relatives or friends. The Managing board performs a quality check on the format and the deontology of reviews and recommendation.
- The recommendation text signed by the recommender and co-recommenders, all reviews (anonymous or not), and the link to the last version of the manuscript are finally posted on the web site of Peer Community in X.
Recommendation of articles already peer-reviewed
- A recommender of a Peer Community in X reads an article already peer-reviewed (e.g. an article published in a journal or a preprint recommended by another Peer Community in X), finds it particularly interesting and would like to recommend it. He/she becomes “recommender” of this article.
- He/she looks for a second “recommender” within or outside its Peer Community in X, on the basis of his/her expertise for a joint recommendation of the manuscript. They write together a short text of recommendation (at least about half page). Reviews are not needed, because the article was already reviewed.
- Both “recommenders” sign the recommendation text and send it with the link to the Managing board of their Peer Community in X. Before sending their recommendation, all recommenders will have to certify that they have no conflict of interests of any kind with the content or with the authors of the article, and that they are not recommending an article published by close colleagues, recent co-authors, relatives or friends. The Managing board performs a quality check on the format and the deontology of the recommendation.
- The recommendation text signed by the recommenders is posted on the web site of the Peer Community in X.
Code of conduct
Recommenders and reviewers of Peer Community in X (PCI X) must agree to comply with the following rules:
- Recommenders for PCI X and reviewers should be free from financial conflicts of interest relating to the articles they evaluate.
- Recommenders for PCI X and reviewers should be as free as possible from non-financial conflict of interests relating to the articles they evaluate, although this may appear difficult due to the necessary scientific interest. For instance, recommenders of for PCI X and reviewers should not evaluate articles written by close colleagues (with whom they have published in the last four years, with whom they have received joint funding in the last four years, or with whom they are currently writing a manuscript, or submitting a grant proposal), or written by family members, friends, or anyone for whom bias might affect the nature of their recommendation.
- Reviews, recommendations, comments and messages should always be respectful to the authors.
- Reviewers and recommenders should write high-quality reviews and recommendations, respectively. Reviews should be deep and detailed enough to allow the recommender for PCI X handling the recommendation process to understand fully the qualities, defects and caveats of the article. Texts (reviews, recommendations, comments, messages to authors) will be returned to reviewers and recommenders for PCI X if they do not respect these rules.
- Recommenders for PCI X and reviewers must ensure that the data for recommended preprints are available to the readers, through deposition in an open data repository, such as Zenodo, Dryad or institutional repositories, for example. Deposited data must have a digital object identifier (DOI). They must also verify that details of the quantitative analyses (e.g. data treatment and statistical scripts in R, bioinformatic pipelines scripts, etc.) in the recommended preprints are available to the readers, as appendices or supplementary online materials (in this case, the supplementary material must have a digital object identifier (DOI)), for example.
The Managing Board of PCI X has the right to exclude recommenders from PCI X if they do not respect these rules.
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