PCI Registered Reports reviews and recommends unpublished articles, as complete, reliable and citable articles, without the need for their publication in ‘traditional’ journals. Evaluation and recommendation by PCI Registered Reports are free of charge.
The processes of publication in a traditional journal and recommendation by PCI Registered Reports are not exclusive: an unpublished report can be submitted to a journal after its evaluation by PCI Registered Reports. However, simultaneous submission to a journal and to PCI Registered Reports is not permitted. Indeed, reports submitted to PCI Registered Reports must not be published or submitted for publication elsewhere until the PCI Registered Reports evaluation process is complete. The report must, therefore, have been rejected or recommended by PCI Registered Reports before it can be submitted to a journal.
The process of evaluation by PCI Registered Reports is very similar to the process of article evaluation in ‘traditional’ journals. Just like journal editors, the recommenders appointed by PCI Registered Reports handle reports: they are responsible for finding reviewers, collecting reviews, and making editorial decisions based on reviews. They may eventually recommend articles after one or several rounds of review.
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 Registered Reports. The report itself remains in the open archive and is not published by PCI Registered Reports.
The recommendation by PCI Registered Reports increases the value of the recommended report. Recommended reports can be used by researchers and cited in the literature. There is no need for these recommended reports to be published in traditional journals (although they can be, depending on the authors’ preferences).
PCI Registered Reports does not copyedit reports, therefore authors should pay close attention to typographical and formatting errors. A recommended report should be as grammatically correct and as beautifully formatted as possible because it is the finished article (at Stage 1 and Stage 2). Ensure all tables, figures, and additional materials are present and correct, and that the data are accessible.
PCI Registered Reports publishes the recommendations written by recommenders. We do not format, host, or publish the reports we recommend. Instead, we simply link the recommendation to the reports posted on open archives, such as the Open Science Framework or bioRxiv1
. The costs of the process of evaluation and recommendation and of hosting the website are very low. As a result, there are no charges for authors (or for readers because the recommended articles can be downloaded for free from the host servers).
Submitting a report
Please see our author guidelines (at the Help button) to learn how to submit a report
During the submission process, you will have the option to suggest recommenders who could handle the evaluation of your report. A recommender is very similar to a journal editor. They are responsible for finding at least two reviewers, collecting reviews, and making editorial decisions based on reviews. They may eventually recommend your 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.
Note that PCI Registered Reports is under no obligation to consider your submitted report. Only submitted reports 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 ensure a suitable recommender is found.
Submitting an anonymous report (double-blind)
Authors can submit reports anonymously: their names are not visible to the suggested recommenders or to the reviewers evaluating the report. This makes it possible to have a double-blind evaluation of the report.
If authors wish to remain anonymous, they should carefully remove all nominative information from the manuscript and supplementary files (including information in the file properties). They should then deposit their anonymized report and supplementary files on a server (e.g. Github, Google docs, Drop Box, etc.) allowing them to share the files via an anonymous URL. They must provide this link when submitting the report to PCI RR. The author responsible for the submission must indicate the names of all the authors on the submission form, but these names are visible only to the members of the managing board (not to the suggested recommenders or reviewers).
When a recommender decides to handle the evaluation of the report, they are provided with access to the names of the authors, which is essential for ensuring that the referees invited to review the report have no conflicts of interest with the authors. The invited referees and the referees agreeing to review the preprint do not see the names of the authors.
If the report is eventually recommended by the recommender in charge of its evaluation, the authors must then deposit a final, non-anonymized version in an open archive (e.g. Open Science Framework, Zenodo, bioRxiv1
1. Note that bioRxiv currently displays a sentence stating that "This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review". If your manuscript is recommended by PCI RR, this sentence will unfortunately not be removed. Choose the open repository in which you deposit your article carefully (arXiv, OSF-preprints, zenodo, hal, university repositories, etc.).