This page addresses FAQs for PCI RR authors and recommenders. General FAQs about the PCI initiative may be found here.
1. I plan to publish my recommended Registered Report in a traditional journal. Will submitting to PCI RR be considered prior publication by the journal, thus rendering it ineligible for consideration?
No, not if the journal you plan to publish in has a preprint-friendly submission policy. PCI RR is not a journal and doesn't publish articles; it only publishes the reviews and recommendations of manuscripts that are hosted on preprint servers. For this reason, if a journal is happy to consider submissions that are already archived on a preprint server then the journal will also consider submissions recommended by PCI RR. By default, all PCI RR-friendly
and PCI RR-interested
journals are preprint-friendly. You can use the Sherpa Romeo tool
to find out if your intended destination journal is preprint-friendly.
2. At what point in the review workflow do I find out which PCI RR-friendly journals are eligible outlets?
Authors are advised at the point of Stage 1 in-principle acceptance (IPA) which PCI RR-friendly journals will publish the recommended Stage 2 manuscript provided authors adhere to the approved protocol. The list of eligible outlets is then fully confirmed at the point of a positive final Stage 2 recommendation. PCI RR cannot determine journal eligibility prior to IPA because Stage 1 review could lead to changes in the study design or disciplinary remit that alter eligibility. To aid study planning, the requirements for specific journals are available on the PCI RR website
, and where authors wish to enquire about eligibility for a specific journal, the PCI RR Managing Board can provide a provisional assessment as part of a presubmission enquiry via email
The decision about journal eligibility is made by PCI RR (not the journal), and is based on the disciplinary fit of the manuscript with the journal and the extent to which the manuscript meets any applicable journal requirements concerning pre-planned evidence strength, bias control, formatting, whether reviews are signed, and so on. Where the journal requires the peer reviews provided by PCI RR to be signed, authors can used the PCI RR submission checklist to instruct the recommender to only invite reviewers who agree provide a signed review. Authors intending to publish their manuscript in a PCI RR-friendly journal are advised to consult the current list of adopting journals
and the Guide for Authors
to ensure that they prepare their manuscript in line with any eligibility requirements.
Provided authors adhere closely to their approved protocol, the list of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals that is determined at the point of Stage 1 IPA will never be changed at Stage 2. However, authors are advised that major
deviations from the approved Stage 1 protocol could affect the eligibility of a manuscript for a particular PCI RR-friendly journal. For example, where the level of pre-planned evidence strength at Stage 1 is for any reason unmet at Stage 2 (for example, by the authors failing to meet the pre-planned sample size) and
the PCI RR-friendly journal sets a more stringent requirement on pre-planned evidence strength than PCI RR, it is possible that a Stage 2 manuscript could receive a final positive Stage 2 recommendation from PCI RR but become ineligible for automatic acceptance by the journal. As noted in Section 2.10
of the Guide for Authors, authors who need to deviate from their approved Stage 1 protocol should contact the recommender as soon as possible to discuss the implications of such deviations.
3. Some PCI RR-friendly journals charge a full article processing charge (APC). Can these APCs be reduced or waived given that the review process was managed by PCI RR?
It is for authors to negotiate waivers or APC reductions with journals; PCI RR remains independent of such negotiations. PCI RR does, however, create a buyer's market for authors. Not all PCI RR-friendly journals charge APCs and the PCI RR model ensures that the final, peer-reviewed output is always freely available as a preprint.
4. If a PCI RR-interested journal (or any other journal) offers further peer review following a positive Stage 2 recommendation from PCI RR, but the journal eventually ends up rejecting my manuscript, can I then still publish my article without further peer review in a PCI RR-friendly journal?
Yes. Authors are free to pursue publication of their recommended Stage 2 manuscript in any journal, and doing so has no impact on the commitment by eligible PCI RR-friendly journals to accept the manuscript without further peer review.
5. Does the guarantee to publish a recommended Stage 2 RR by a PCI RR-friendly journal have a time limit or expiration date?
Not at present. However, PCI RR reserves the right to apply a time limit in the future if we find that PCI RR-friendly journals are receiving Stage 2 submissions so long after a positive Stage 2 recommendation that the research has become out-of-date, superceded, or even misleading.
6. Where a PCI RR-friendly journal provides the opportunity to publish a recommended Stage 1 manuscript as a Protocol article, should I submit a Protocol article to the journal at the point of in-principle acceptance, or should I instead submit both the Protocol and the final manuscript with results only after a positive Stage 2 recommendation?
Unless a specific requirement is noted for the journal (see table entries
), either approach is acceptable. In addition, there is no requirement to publish the Protocol article and the Stage 2 article in the same journal, so authors could also submit the Protocol article to one PCI RR-friendly journal at the point of Stage 1 in-principle acceptance, and then later submit the completed Stage 2 article to a different journal.
7. What happens if I miss the deadline to submit a full Stage 1 manuscript as part of the Scheduled Review track?
Missing the submission deadline cancels the scheduled review process, without exception. Reviewers are released from the commitment and authors cannot submit the same proposal again as a RR snapshot. Authors can, however, submit a completed Stage 1 manuscript as part of the Standard Review track.
8. Can I postpone the deadline to submit a full Stage 1 manuscript as part of the Scheduled Review track?
No. Authors are advised to propose a realistic deadline that incorporates contigencies for possible delays. Any change in the deadline will result in the reviewers being released from their commitment and authors cannot then submit the same proposal again as a RR snapshot. Authors can, however, submit a completed Stage 1 manuscript as part of the Standard Review track.
9. As part of the Scheduled Review track, can I submit my full Stage 1 manucript in advance of the submission deadline?
Yes, but it probably won't be reviewed until the date negotiated with the reviewer is reached.
10. Can I submit a presubmission enquiry to PCI RR?
11. Can I submit to PCI RR at the same time as submitting to a journal?
No. As part of the submission checklist, authors must declare that the manuscript is not currently under review elsewhere. Authors must also agree not to submit their manuscript to a journal before the end of the PCI RR evaluation process.
12. What is the difference between a PCI RR-friendly journal and a PCI RR-interested journal?
A PCI RR-friendly journal
endorses the PCI RR review criteria and commits to accepting without further peer review
any manuscript that achieves a positive final recommendation from PCI RR while also meeting any additional procedural requirements that do not require further scientific evaluation by the journal. Where any scientific or expert judgment is required to assess whether these additional requirements are met, a PCI RR-friendly journal commits to accepting the judgment of PCI RR without performing additional peer review.
A PCI RR-interested journal does not automatically accept PCI RR recommendations but has signed up to be alerted (with the consent of the authors) when a new Stage 1 in-principle acceptance (IPA) or Stage 2 acceptance is recommended by PCI RR. The journal may then contact the authors to arrange additional peer review or make a direct publication offer to the authors. Any such communications or offers are beyond the purview of PCI RR, and PCI RR does not broker or mediate negotiations. A journal may prefer to be listed as PCI RR-interested where it wants to reserve the right to perform additional peer review of RRs that receive a positive recommendation by PCI RR.
13. What are the benefits of PCI RR for authors compared with submitting RRs or regular articles directly to journals?
This table summarises the comparative features and benefits of PCI RR.
14. Can I present my Stage 1 RR at a conference?
Yes. In fact, evidence shows that this practice can be valuable for receiving constructive feedback, promoting open research practices, and supporting early career researchers (Brouwers et al. 2020).
1. I failed to achieve the required 95% correct pass rate in the recommender's entrance test. Can I take the test again?
Yes. You can take the test as many times as you need to achieve the required pass rate. You will have received feedback on each answer. We recommend consulting this feedback to understand why any answers were incorrect.