About PCI Registered Reports



Introduction to PCI, Registered Reports, and PCI Registered Reports

The Peer Community In (PCI) initiative is a non-profit, non-commercial platform that publishes the peer-reviews of preprints. The overarching aim of this researcher-run organisation is to create specific communities of researchers reviewing and recommending, for free, unpublished preprints in their field. PCI communities have so far been created across a wide range of sciences and are expanding rapidly. Once the submissions are accepted (or, in PCI terms, “recommended”) following peer review, the revised manuscript is posted at the preprint server where the preprint is hosted, and the peer reviews and recommendation of the preprint are posted at the PCI website. Authors then have the option to also publish the preprint in a traditional journal.

PCI Registered Reports (PCI RR) is a new community dedicated to receiving, reviewing, and recommending Registered Reports (RRs) across the full spectrum of STEM, medicine, the social sciences and humanities. RRs are a form of empirical article in which study proposals are peer reviewed and pre-accepted before research is undertaken. By deciding which articles are published based on the question and proposed methods, RRs offer a remedy for a range of research biases, including publication bias and reporting bias.

Peer review for a RR takes place over two stages (see How it works). At Stage 1, authors submit their research question(s), theory and hypotheses (where applicable), detailed methods and analysis plans, and any preliminary data as needed. Following detailed review and revision – according to specific criteria – proposals that are favourably assessed receive in-principle acceptance (IPA), which commits PCI RR to recommending the final article regardless of the outcomes, provided the authors adhere to their approved protocol and interpret the results in line with the evidence. Following IPA, authors then register their approved protocol in a recognised repository, either publicly or under a temporary embargo. Then, after completing the research, they submit a Stage 2 manuscript that includes the approved protocol plus results and discussion, which may include clearly labelled post hoc analyses in addition to the preregistered outcomes. The reviewers from Stage 1 then return to assess the completed Stage 2 manuscript, focusing on compliance with protocol and whether the conclusions are justified by the evidence.

When a recommender decides to recommend a report, they write a recommendation. This recommendation is essentially a short article, similar to a News & Views piece, describing the context of the study and explaining why this research is particularly interesting. This recommendation and all of the editorial correspondence (reviews, recommender's decisions, authors’ replies) associated with the recommended report are published by PCI RR. The manuscript itself remains on the preprint server and is not separately published by PCI RR.

Following the completion of peer review, authors of RRs that are positively recommended have the option to publish their articles in the growing list of PCI RR-friendly journals that have committed to accepting PCI RR recommendations without further peer review. The complete set of Stage 1 and Stage 2 reviews solicited by PCI RR (signed or anonymous) and recommender decision letters are then published on the PCI RR website and assigned a DOI. Any Stage 2 RR that is published in a journal will contain a link to the reviews.

How it works

 
The big picture


Submitting a report

Please see our author guidelines to learn how to submit a report. Various submission tracks are available, including standard or scheduled review, and anonymised or non-anonymised review. Authors can also keep their Stage 1 manuscripts under private embargo until Stage 2.
 
During the submission process, authors have the option to suggest recommenders who could handle the evaluation of the report. A recommender is very similar to a journal editor. They are responsible for finding at least two reviewers, collecting reviews, and making manuscript recommendations based on the reviews. They may eventually recommend an article after one or several rounds of review. The recommender signs all decisions, and reviewers may choose to remain anonymous or to sign their reviews.
 
Authors experiencing any difficulties with the submission process are advised to contact the PCI RR Managing Board (contact@rr.peercommunityin.org).
 
For further information see our Guide for Authors, Guide for Reviewers, and Guide for Recommenders.


Inclusiveness and Equity

 

PCI is attentive to equity and inclusion at all steps of the process of scientific article evaluation. PCI focuses on bringing more people who are traditionally underrepresented in academia among the authors submitting to PCI, and reviewers, recommenders, and managing board members working for PCI. Underrepresentation is linked with many factors including career stage, gender, and geography.
 
Specific recommendations are made to reviewers, recommenders, and managing board members to increase equity and inclusiveness in each of their tasks. 
 
Tools to increase equity and inclusiveness:

  • Possibility to submit articles anonymously
  • Transparency in the evaluation of articles
  • Managing Board members take into account underrepresentation in academia when appointing new recommenders
  • Template messages to recommenders and reviewers include recommendations about equity and inclusiveness
  • Possibility to review anonymously

 
PCI is signatory of the Joint Statement of Principles of the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communication (C4DISC)​​


Education and Outreach


Promotion

Press releases and media coverage: ScienceAddiction Research & Theory, Experimental Psychology, PeerJ, Royal Society Open Science, University of Sussex Blog

Talks:

Workshops: