PeerJ: A New Kind of Scholarly Journal
If you have not yet discovered PeerJ, the new award-winning journal publishing articles in the biological, medical and health sciences, it is well worth a look: http://bit.ly/1SVvHY2. Instead of paying publishing fees for each article published, authors submitting their articles to PeerJ pay a one-time membership fee: $99 to publish one article per year for life, $199 to publish two articles per year for life and $299 to publish an unlimited number of articles per year for life (all in US funds). You can pay before or after your article has been peer reviewed and accepted, but the membership will cost $40 more if you wait until after acceptance to pay. For an article with many authors, only the first twelve authors must purchase memberships, and undergraduate students who are coauthors with paid members always publish for free. Each PeerJ member is asked to provide a review, a comment or a question on a PeerJ paper every 12 months as an aspect of membership; if the member does not wish to do this, his or her publishing plan may lapse and require repayment for further publications.
All PeerJ articles are open access at no extra cost to authors and are indexed in the Web of Science databases (such as Journal Citation Reports), so the journal will be receiving a ‘2014 Impact Factor’ in June 2015. Research articles are peer reviewed with a focus on ‘an objective determination of scientific and methodological soundness, not on subjective determinations of “impact,” “novelty” or “interest”.’ PeerJ also publishes negative results, as a recent article in The Guardian demonstrates: http://bit.ly/1R0Kezb. The journal places ‘an emphasis on research integrity; high ethical standards; constructive peer-review; exemplary production quality; and leading edge online functionality.’ Only full research articles are formally published, but literature reviews, hypothesis papers, commentaries, opinion pieces, case studies and reports, and other types of papers can be submitted to PeerJ PrePrints, where research articles can initially be submitted as well. PrePrints are open to all viewers, providing a platform where authors can submit draft and finished articles to establish the precedence of their work, solicit feedback and revise their manuscripts. Submissions to PrePrints require only a free (not a paid) publishing plan, are not peer reviewed (though they may be filtered for quality) and remain accessible even if the paper is not formally published.
In addition, a new multidisciplinary PeerJ Computer Science journal has just begun to accept submissions: http://bit.ly/1pNH20R. The aim is to provide a faster and more open route to publication ‘by bringing a 21st Century publishing platform to the computer science community.’ Membership, peer reviews and preprint publishing are designed on the same principles as for the original PeerJ, but authors can at present earn free author credits towards membership by registering their interest in the new journal.
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If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.