Peer Community Journal
PEER COMMUNITY JOURNAL
What is Peer Community Journal?
Once an article has been recommended by a PCI, the authors can opt to leave it on a preprint server, to publish it in Peer Community Journal, to submit it to a PCI-friendly journal or to any other 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 = after recommendation by a PCI, no delay between transfer to the journal and publication
This journal, created and funded by the PCI organization, accepts PCI-recommended articles without further peer reviews.
After its launch, Peer Community journal will be under evaluation by international scientific databases for indexation.
The articles published by Peer Community Journal are published under CC-BY license.
What articles are published by the Peer Community Journal?
Acceptance of an article for publication in the journal is conditional on the recommendation by one of the original thematic PCI – see https://peercommunityin.org/current-pcis/ – of the article:
- An article that has been accepted and recommended by a thematic PCI will be accepted unconditionally by the journal.
- An article that has not been accepted by a thematic PCI should not be submitted to the journal.
The Peer Community Journal:
- Publishes unconditionally, free of charge, exclusively, immediately (as soon as possible), at any time, any article recommended by a PCI, in accordance with the wishes of the authors.
- Aims to offer the possibility of publication to authors of PCI-recommended articles, to index these articles and to make them visible to the scientific community.
- Publishes articles on a rolling basis in thematic sections corresponding to the PCI themes in which the articles are evaluated.
What does the Peer Community Journal not do and what is it not?
- It does not provide copyediting or typesetting services.
- It has no policy or strategy of its own other than to accept all PCI-recommended articles and only PCI-recommended articles.
- It does not charge the authors or readers fees.
- It does not play the citation metrics game (IF etc.), and does not display citation metrics on its website.
Peer Community Journal is a journal but it is not, strictly speaking, an overlay journal because:
- Preprint servers will not host the published version of the article. Why? because several preprint servers and open archives are used (arXiv, bioRxiv, OSF preprints, HAL, etc.) by authors submitting their articles to PCI, and too many specific submission procedures would need to be developed for each of these preprint servers and open archives.
- Not all preprint servers and open archives provide links to published versions and this is important for visibility.
- Not all preprint and open archive servers accept formatted articles or versions of record (e.g. bioRxiv). Specific negotiations would therefore be required with some of these servers (e.g. bioRxiv).
Governance of Peer Community Journal
The editorial board consists of the members of the managing boards of each of the thematic PCIs.
The journal has an executive board. Its members manage the logistics, funding, administrative aspects and promotion of the journal. The members of the executive board are the board members of the PCI Association that publishes the journal.
This journal is created and funded by the PCI organization.
The official publisher of Peer Community Journal is the PCI organization.
Changes in the statutes of the PCI organization will be proposed to its next General Assembly to specify the following points:
The journal will publish unconditionally, free-of-charge, exclusively, and immediately (as soon as possible), on an opt-in basis, any article recommended by a PCI.
The goal of the journal is to offer authors of PCI-recommended articles the opportunity to have a version of record (VoR), which can then be indexed and made visible to the scientific community.
The journal has no policy or strategy of its own other than accepting any PCI-recommended article and only PCI-recommended articles.
The journal will be free for authors and readers.
The journal cannot try to modify the policies of the PCIs.
The journal will not play the game of citation metrics (IF etc.); it will not display citation metrics on its website. Citation metrics will not be discussed during general assemblies of PCI. No communication will be made on citation metrics.
The journal will promote the FAIR principles of Open Science (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) and reproducibility
Originality of Peer Community Journal
This journal is original in that:
- It is multidisciplinary, and will accept for publication any articles recommended by any of the PCIs (PCI Ecology, PCI Paleontology, PCI Mathematical & Computational Biology, etc., https://peercommunityin.org/current-pcis/),
- It is free (diamond open access) for authors and readers,
- It is based on a rigorous and transparent editorial process (PCI publishes reviews and all editorial processes of accepted articles),
- It provides an example of dissociation of the three stages of publication: publication of a preprint in a preprint server or open repository, peer review via PCI and publication by a journal,
- It unites the entire PCI community around a single journal.
Why a journal?
Because the service PCI provides is not complete:
– Lack of visibility: Preprints recommended by PCI do not appear as recommended in many preprint servers (including in bioRxiv), or in search results provided by Google Scholar.
– Lack of indexation: Preprints recommended by PCI are not indexed in the best-known databases (WoS, PubMed, Scopus, DOAJ) because preprints are not articles published in journals.
→ We will continue our efforts to have PCI-recommended preprints recognized as articles of high quality that do not need to be published in journals.
While awaiting this recognition (which is not guaranteed and will necessarily take time), Peer Community Journal will provide a means of publishing any PCI-recommended preprint without further modification and at no cost to the authors.
Isn't it a paradox to recommend preprints and then create a journal?
PCI’s goal is to promote preprints and recommended preprints and to ensure their recognition with a value equivalent to that of the best articles published in journals. However, most authors currently need to publish in journals (for evaluation reasons, visibility and indexation) and this requirement is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Whilst it remains the rule to publish articles in journals, PCI will run the Peer Community Journal to provide authors with this possibility.
We hope that, in the long term, Peer Community Journal (and PCI-friendly journals) will create a large flow of submissions to PCI, leading to a situation in which it will be sufficient for authors to have PCI-recommended articles. Until then, PCI will continue to promote recommended articles.
Is there a danger of this journal playing the IF game?
No. The non-use of citation metrics is a condition laid down in the statutes of the PCI organization, which is the publisher and owner of Peer Community journal.
Isn't it a paradox to have strong links with PCI-friendly journals and then create a journal?
No, there is room for everyone. PCI-friendly journals are long-term established journals, with specific editorial policies and with specific communities of researchers seeking to publish in them. A scientist used to publishing in a learned society journal, for example, may well continue to choose to submit to this journal as a first choice. The Peer Community Journal has been created to ensure that the authors of PCI-recommended preprints can publish their articles in a journal, with no possibility of refusal and no time delay.
Can I still submit my PCI-recommended article to the journal of my choice?
Yes, the authors of PCI-recommended articles can do whatever they want with their articles: leave them on preprint servers or submit to Peer Community Journal, a PCI-friendly journal or any other journal.
Will Peer Community Journal last for long?
Yes. Funding from public research institutions is available to ensure the functioning of the journal for at least the next 20 years.