How and why?

How and why submitting your preprints to a PCI?

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.

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.


How and why becoming a recommender for a PCI?

Peer Community In welcomes new recommenders in Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Paleontology.

How to become a new recommender for a PCI?

Peer Community In (PCI) encourages reasearchers to become recommenders for Peer Community In Evolutionary Biology, Peer Community in Ecology and Peer Community in Paleontology (PCI Evol Biol, PCI Ecol, PCI Paleo). We are particularly open to welcome ‘early/middle-career’ scientists.

The role of recommenders is similar to that of journal editors (finding reviewers, obtaining peer reviews, making editorial decisions based on these reviews), and they may reject or recommend the preprints they are handling after one or several rounds of reviews. If a recommender eventually decides to recommend a preprint, he/she writes a “recommendation” text that has its own DOI and is published on the website of the corresponding PCI.

Becoming a recommender for a PCI is not associated with a substantial workload. Recommenders organize the peer-review process of preprints and may recommend them. Most recommenders handle no more than a single article per year.

New recommenders are nominated by current recommenders and approved by the Managing Board of the corresponding PCI.

If you are interested in becoming a recommender, you may

  • contact PCI at and specify which PCI you would like to join: ecology, paleontology or evolutionary biology,
  • or ask a current recommender of a specific PCI to suggest your name to the Managing Board of this PCI, and then wait for their decision.

Five good reasons to become a PCI recommender

  1. PCI is a new, innovative and totally free publication process managed by scientists for scientists. This set-up reduces the financial burden on academic institutions in terms of publication costs and journal purchases.
  2. PCI accelerates the dissemination of science. It promotes the use of preprints, whilst ensuring that these preprints are peer-reviewed, and therefore scientifically validated.
  1. Not all preprints will be considered. PCI recommenders initiate the recommendation process only if they feel that a preprint is worthy of recommendation. This prevents recommenders from being inundated with low-quality preprints that they are obliged to handle.
  1. The reviews and recommendations of the PCI are publicly available and valued. Recommendations and reviews are posted on the PCI website and are therefore publicly available, free of charge. Individual recommenders and reviewers have their own webpage, including all their reviews and recommendations. Each recommendation has a specific DOI, can be cited and is referenced as a scientific article by Google Scholars.
  1. Becoming a recommender for PCI does not entail a large workload. PCI recommenders decide whether and when to initiate a recommendation process. They are expected to recommend one or two papers per year, but are under no obligation to initiate any recommendation processes if they are too busy at a particular time. A very different task from that required of associate editors! You can therefore become a recommender without fear of having insufficient time to fulfil your obligations.


How and Why creating a new PCI?

Peer Community in calls for the creation of new PCIs

PCI’s goal is to cover as many scientific disciplines as possible in order to give scientists control of the publishing system. We are therefore calling for the creation of new PCIs in any discipline or scientific field.

Basically, this involves setting up a managing board and bringing together a large number of “recommenders” (people who agree to act as editors) to ensure the organisation of the preprints evaluations that will be submitted to their PCI. The proposed PCI may be highly specialized (eg PCI Medical Entomology) or very generalist (eg PCI Physics).

Proposals will be evaluated by the PCI organization. Once a project is validated, the founders of the new PCI will benefit at no cost of:
– a support for contacting researchers to join their PCI
– a fully operational website dedicated to their PCI
– a logistical support from the PCI organisation for managing the website and answer related questions.

Interested? Need further explanation on how to proceed? Please contact us at


See the Project in a few lines

See How does it work?

See the Recommended Preprints

See How and why?

See Who supports Peer Community in?

See the Movies and posters

See the FAQ

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