Author case studies

Jeremy Bruenn

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, SUNY/Buffalo (1987-present)
International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses (1986-present)
Senior Scientist, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (1999-2002)

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Postdoctoral Research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

- View Jeremy's full list of contributions in PeerJ

In this ‘interview with an author’ we spoke to Jeremy Bruenn, from the Department of Biological Sciences, SUNY/Buffalo. Professor Bruenn is the senior author of the recent PeerJ article “Virus-host co-evolution under a modified nuclear genetic code” which published three weeks ago, and so we were very interested in hearing about his experiences with us.

PJ: With this research, why did you choose to publish in PeerJ rather than some other venue? And what were your initial impressions?

JB: Basically, both Derek and I were fed up with “elite” journals unable to recognize what is novel. Before submission we felt that you had a good editorial policy, good economics and the promise of a fast turn-around.

PJ: Were the author instructions and policies clear to you? Did any stand out for any reason?

JB: I especially like the flexibility with references, which are a great pain, even using Endnote, with some journals. You seem to want to help authors, rather than punish them for minor infractions.

PJ: What was your experience of the review process?

JB: Review was reasonably rapid and you responded courteously when we complained about delayed review (again unlike some elite journals). I think the idea of publishing reviews with the names of reviewers (with their permission) is great and I congratulate you on this innovation.

PJ: And the production process?

JB: Production was fast and flawless and easy (unlike something like PNAS, which is infinitely painful).

PJ: And what did you think to the overall speed of the process?

JB: The speed was fine - basically limited by reviewer cooperation. One editorial improvement might be to eliminate reviewers who are chronically late.

PJ: Was there anything that surprised you with your overall experience?

JB: I am always surprised by fairness in science.

PJ: Now that you have been through the process, what is the advantage for an author to publish their work with PeerJ

JB: The process is fast, cheap, fair, and attractive. If the journal develops a large readership, it will be unstoppable.

PJ: What has been your overall opinion of the process?

JB: I was impressed.

PJ: Would you submit again, and would you recommend that your colleagues submit?

JB: Yes and yes. See above for my reasons.

PJ: Many thanks for your time

JB: Thanks for your interest in my opinion.

Science is about more than the stories we tell, it means sharing the materials and methods necessary for anyone to reproduce their results.
We were looking for a platform to present a series of manuscripts spanning a variety of scientific disciplines
The biggest surprise was the response the article received from the news media
I think PeerJ simply is one of the most beautiful journals available
I already had a relevant paper published in PeerJ, and the second paper ... was a suitable fit for PeerJ PrePrints.
The review process was fantastic - It was transparent and fast
The fact that the editorial board is very strong is a very good feature of the journal
We felt that you had a good editorial policy, good economics and the promise of a fast turn-around
At first I was concerned that our paper would get little attention in a new journal, but that was quickly put to rest


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I told my colleagues that PeerJ is a journal where they need to publish if they want their paper to be published quickly and with the strict peer review expected from a good journal.
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