Author case studies

PeerJ PrePrints was launched this April, and we were pleased to see that the second submission we received was a preprint that extended the story for one of our published articles. Dr Johnson Thie from the University of Sydney was a co-author on the PeerJ article “Validation of the Emotiv EPOC® EEG gaming system for measuring research quality auditory ERPs” and also the author of PeerJ PrePprint #2 (“A marker circuit to enable recording of auditory evoked potential using a wireless EEG system (EPOC) and a portable computer”). Being able to follow up on a ‘formal’ publication with a related, but more informal ‘preprint’ publication is a huge advantage of preprints, and so we wanted to talk to Dr Thie to learn about his reasons for doing so.

PJ: Perhaps you can briefly explain the research you published in PeerJ and PeerJ PrePrints?

JT: I am involved in electrophysiology, biomedical engineering and cognitive science. My part has been mainly in the engineering side where I develop instruments and perform signal analysis. My focus is to make physiological recording on human/animals non-invasive, easier and reliable.

I’ve been working on this particular project for about one year although I’ve been in this field for 10 years in both industry and academia.

PJ: You submitted an article to the PeerJ journal and then followed up with a preprint to PeerJ PrePrints. Can you explain why?

JT: The paper submitted to PeerJ was a research paper while the paper to PeerJ PrePrints was more about some of the technical work that was involved in the research.

PJ: And what advantages did the preprint server provide you?

A shorter time to publication. A suitable location to publish information that is more complex than a blog post. And the fact that having a preprint allows people to cite the work.

I already had a relevant paper published in PeerJ, and the second paper which extended/supplemented the first paper was a suitable fit for PeerJ PrePrints.

PJ: What was your impression of the PrePrint process?

JT: Flexibility in the formatting is nice. Perhaps in future, a latex style file/template can be provided to make formatting uniform and still easy.

PJ: And what was your experience of the overall PeerJ process?

JT: My experience has been positive. The submission process was similar to other journals. The flexibility in formatting was nice so I didn’t have to change the sections/headings and bibliography styles. It was easy to submit a paper, less hassle in formatting and a quicker process.

The review process for the PeerJ journal was quick, and the feedback from the reviewers was generally positive. The approval process for the PeerJ PrePrints publication only took 1-2 days.

The overall speed was quick, especially from acceptance to publication. In other journals, the time from acceptance to publication could take 1-3 months. If anything, it was the quick process to publication which surprised me the most at PeerJ.

PJ: Did any of your colleagues express anything to you about your publication with PeerJ PrePrints?

JT: They are glad that the technical work of the research paper was published in PeerJ PrePrints since people have sent them various inquiries regarding the instruments that I developed for the research work.

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

JT: Open access is particularly beneficial for people in industry who are not affiliated to a university and hence have no free access to journals. PeerJ in particular has a lower cost than the open access options provided by more established journals.

PJ: Would you submit again?

JT: Yes I would submit suitable papers again given the reasons stated earlier.

PJ: Great news, we are glad that you enjoyed your experience! Thank you for your time.

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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