How and why submitting your preprints to a PCI?

Five good reasons to submit your preprint to a PCI

  1. PCI, based on preprints, is a free, innovative project. It does not rely on private or for-profit publishers, but on your scientific community. Preprints are scientifically validated and recommended free of charge.
  1. PCI guarantees the scientific validity of preprints. Once recommended, your preprint can be cited as “peer-reviewed”! Moreover, it is associated with a high-quality recommendation text signed by renowned scientists in the field, which is likely to stimulate interest in your preprint. Readers have access to your preprint and its recommendation entirely free of charge.
  1. PCI recommendations are transparent: the entire editorial process is public. Readers will have access to reviews and will know on what basis your preprint has been recommended, which is not the case for the vast majority of articles published in journals.
  1. PCI recommendation and publication in a journal are not mutually exclusive: your preprint can be recommended by a PCI and then submitted to a journal. Authors need only wait for the outcome of the recommendation process before submitting their preprints for publication in traditional journals. This requirement is imposed solely to prevent parallel reviewing processes.
  1. PCI can increase the chances of your preprint being accepted by a traditional journal. The reviews of your preprint and the modifications requested can substantially increase the quality of your preprint before its submission to a traditional journal, thereby increasing the likelihood of acceptance. For instance, in ecology and evolution, the Editors-in-Chief of Ecology LettersEvolutionBMC Evol BiolOikosEvolutionary EcologyEvolutionary ApplicationsMolecular Ecology, Frontiers of Biogeography, Genetica, and Journal of Evolutionary Biology  have indicated they will consider submissions of recommended preprints and they may use PCI reviews and recommendations for their own review processes.

 

Before submitting a preprint

Before submitting a preprint, authors should pay attention to the following points:
– Authors must have no financial conflict of interest relating to the preprint they are about to submit. The preprint must contain a “Conflict of interest disclosure” paragraph before the reference section containing this sentence: “The authors of this preprint declare that they have no financial conflict of interest with the content of this article.”
– Authors must pay attention to the form of the text, figures and tables, and must check for typographical errors, in particular. Authors must also ensure that all tables, figures and supplementary materials are available and correctly numbered.
– Data for preprints must be available to readers after recommendation, in the preprint or through deposition in an open data repository, such as Zenodo, Dryad or institutional repositories, for example.
– Details of the quantitative analyses (e.g. data treatment and statistical scripts in R, bioinformatic pipeline scripts, etc.) in the recommended preprints must be available to readers in the text or as appendices or supplementary materials, for example.
– Details of the experimental procedures in the recommended preprints must be available to readers.

Submitting a preprint

To submit an article, you should first post it on a preprint server, such as bioRxiv or arXiv. When the article has appeared on this server,

1) Go to the website of the PCI of your choice (PCI Evol Biol, PCI Ecol, PCI Paleo) and log in
2) Click on the green ‘SUBMIT A PREPRINT’ button
3) Complete the form (title, authors, DOI, abstract, keywords, thematic fields)
4) Suggest recommenders by clicking on the blue ‘SUGGEST RECOMMENDERS’ button. Each time you suggest a new recommender, you can add others, or remove a suggested recommender by clicking on the orange ‘REMOVE’ button
5) Complete your submission by clicking on the green ‘COMPLETE YOUR SUBMISSION’ button. This will result in your submission being sent to the managing board for validation.

During the submission process, you will have the option of suggesting recommenders who could handle the evaluation of your preprint. A recommender is very similar to a journal editor. He/she is responsible for finding reviewers, collecting reviews, and making editorial decisions based on reviews. He/she may eventually recommend your preprint after one or several rounds of review.
Note that the PCIs are under no obligation to consider your submitted preprint. Only submitted preprints selected by a recommender enter the evaluation process. Although we cannot guarantee that your preprint will be reviewed, all possible efforts will be made to make this possible.