Editorial Criteria

Rigorous yet fair review. Judge the soundness of the science, not its importance.

Basic Reporting
  • The submission must adhere to all PeerJ policies (see: 'Journal Policies').
  • Poorly written manuscripts will be returned to the author.
  • The article must be written in English and must use clear, unambiguous, technically correct text. The article must conform to professional standards of courtesy and expression.
  • The article should include sufficient introduction and background to demonstrate how the work fits into the broader field of knowledge. Relevant prior literature should be appropriately referenced.
  • The structure of the submitted article should conform to an acceptable format of ‘standard sections’ (see our Instructions for Authors for our suggested format). Significant departures in structure should be made only if they significantly improve clarity or conform to a discipline-specific custom.
  • Figures should be relevant to the content of the article, of sufficient resolution, and appropriately described and labeled.
  • The submission should be ‘self-contained,’ should represent an appropriate ‘unit of publication’, and should include all results relevant to the hypothesis. Coherent bodies of work should not be inappropriately subdivided merely to increase publication count.
Experimental Design
  • The submission must describe original primary research within the Aims & Scope of the Journal.
  • The submission should clearly define the research question, which must be relevant and meaningful. The knowledge gap being investigated should be identified, and statements should be made as to how the study contributes to filling that gap.
  • The investigation must have been conducted rigorously and to a high technical standard.
  • Methods should be described with sufficient information to be reproducible by another investigator.
  • The research must have been conducted in conformity with the prevailing ethical standards in the field.
Validity of the Findings
  • The data should be robust, statistically sound, and controlled.
  • The data on which the conclusions are based must be provided or made available in an acceptable discipline-specific repository.
  • The conclusions should be appropriately stated, should be connected to the original question investigated, and should be limited to those supported by the results.
  • Speculation is welcomed, but should be identified as such.
  • Decisions are not made based on any subjective determination of impact, degree of advance, novelty, being of interest to only a niche audience, etc.
  • Replication experiments are encouraged (provided the rationale for the replication, and how it adds value to the literature, is clearly described); however, we do not allow the ‘pointless’ repetition of well known, widely accepted results.
  • Negative / inconclusive results are acceptable.
Review criteria for literature review articles:

Basic Reporting
  • Is the review of broad and cross-disciplinary interest and within the scope of the journal?
  • Has the field been reviewed recently? If so, is there a good reason for this review (different point of view, accessible to a different audience, etc.)?
  • Does the Introduction adequately introduce the subject and make it clear who the audience is/what the motivation is?
Study Design
  • Is the Survey Methodology consistent with a comprehensive, unbiased coverage of the subject? If not, what is missing?
  • Are sources adequately cited? Quoted or paraphrased as appropriate?
  • Is the review organized logically into coherent paragraphs/subsections?
Validity of the Findings
  • Is there a well developed and supported argument that meets the goals set out in the Introduction?
  • Does the Conclusion identify unresolved questions / gaps / future directions?