1
All PeerJ Computer Science articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution License (see each article for the exact CC BY version used). With this license, Authors retain copyright, but allow any user to share, copy, distribute, transmit, adapt and make commercial use of the work without needing to provide additional permission, provided appropriate attribution is made to the original author or source.
2
By using this license, all PeerJ Computer Science articles meet or exceed all funder and institutional requirements for being considered Open Access.
3
Authors cannot use copyrighted material within their article unless that material has also been made available under a similarly liberal license.

Memberships and Article fees

1
The corresponding author(s) must have at least a free PeerJ account at the time of submission. Any co-authors will receive an email after submission with directions on how to confirm their co-authorship. Remember to check spam folders for missing PeerJ email and add accounts@peerj.com to email contact lists.
2
All named authors must have paid for either the article processing charge (APC) or a Membership after receiving a final decision of "Accept" and before the manuscript will move into production. Different membership plans allow different numbers of publications per year - therefore each author’s membership plan must be high enough to permit this publication.
3
If a manuscript has more than twelve authors and choosing memberships instead of paying the single APC, then only twelve need to have paid membership plans. The remaining authors must have at least a free PeerJ account.
4
Waiver Policy: Authors from countries classified as low income can request a full waiver for a single publication, one per submitting author, per year. In addition, any co-author who was an undergraduate at the time of the research may also request a waiver (provided the paper has senior co-author(s) who have a paid membership plan, and provided the article passes peer review as normal). Neither circumstance is a waiver for a full membership plan. Authors should indicate their desire for a waiver in the "Confidential Notes to Staff" field upon submission, and Academic Editors and reviewers are not made aware of the waiver request.
5
Membership plan status is not a determining factor in peer review or editorial decisions. PeerJ reserves the right not to consider, or ultimately publish, any given article.

Author Policies

The Corresponding Author’s Role and Responsibilities are to:

1
Inform all co-authors of the submission of the manuscript to the journal (note: each co-author will receive a confirmation email upon submission and will need to confirm their authorship).
2
Ensure that the manuscript is in full adherence with all PeerJ Computer Science policies (including such items as publication ethics, data deposition, materials deposition, etc). Additionally ensure that all co-authors are aware of, and in compliance with, all PeerJ Computer Science policies and procedures.
3
Manage all correspondence between the journal and all co-authors, keeping the full co-author group apprised of the manuscript progress.
4
Designate a substitute correspondent for times of unavailability.
5
Ensure that by the point of Editorial Acceptance all co-authors have paid publishing plans or assume responsibility for their publication charges (note: authors can pay for a publishing plan at any point up to, and including, Editorial Acceptance).
6
Post Publication: Respond to all queries pertaining to the published manuscript, provide data and materials as requested.
7
The submission must be created (and completed) by one of the co-authors, not by an agency or by some other individual who is not one of the co-authors.

PeerJ Computer Science adheres to the ICMJE uniform requirements of authorship: All authors on an article must meet these requirements, which are paraphrased below:
  • Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
  • When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript (3). These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in Acknowledgments.
  • Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.
  • All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
  • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Confidentiality

PeerJ Computer Science keeps all details about a submitted manuscript confidential, does not publicly comment about submitted or rejected manuscripts and maintains reviewer confidentiality unless given permission to reveal identities. Authors, reviewers and editors must also treat correspondence as confidential unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Optional Open Peer Review

PeerJ Computer Science is a formally peer-reviewed journal. All publications in the journal undergo a single-blind peer review process where reviewers know the identity of the authors but authors do not, by default, know the identity of the reviewers.

However, PeerJ Computer Science encourages full transparency in the peer review process via a process sometimes known as ‘open peer review’. This takes two forms:
1
Peer reviewers are encouraged (but not required) to provide their names to the authors when submitting their peer review. If they agree to provide their name, then their personal profile page will reflect a public acknowledgement that they performed a review (even if the article is rejected). If the article is accepted, then reviewers who provided their name will be associated with the article itself.
2
Authors are given the option to reproduce the complete peer review history of their article alongside the final publication of the article. If they choose this option then all submitted manuscript files, peer review comments, author rebuttals and revised materials are provided as a downloadable package. This is an all-or-nothing option; no text is edited or removed. Therefore, if the reviewers agreed to provide their name to the authors then their name will become part of this published record as well.

Publication Ethics

1
PeerJ Computer Science adheres to the prevailing industry standards and procedures for investigating publication ethics.
2
PeerJ Computer Science does not allow dual publication (the same material published twice in the peer reviewed literature), or dual submission (the same material simultaneously submitted to more than one journal).
3
Specifically, PeerJ Computer Science does not tolerate plagiarism, data or figure manipulation, knowingly providing incorrect information, copyright infringement, inaccurate author attributions, attempts to inappropriately manipulate the peer review process, failures to declare conflicts of interest, fraud, and libel. This list is not exhaustive - if there is uncertainty of what constitutes such actions, then more resources may be found at the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Council of Science Editors (CSE), or the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME).
4
PeerJ Computer Science will rigorously enforce our standards, and follow up on any transgressions. In extreme cases, this may call for individuals to be reported to their institutions and/or for manuscripts to be retracted. Any complaints should be directed to editorial.support@peerj.com

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

PeerJ Computer Science adheres to the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines. We follow recommended COPE procedures whenever we are alerted to an issue which requires investigation.

Competing Interests

1
PeerJ Computer Science requires that all parties involved in a publication (i.e. the authors, reviewers and academic editors) should transparently declare any potential Competing Interests (also known as Conflicts of Interest). The disclosure of a Competing Interest does not necessarily mean that there is an issue to be addressed; it simply ensures that all parties are appropriately informed of any relevant considerations while they work on the submission.
2
Authors are asked to declare all competing interests upon submission. Reviewers are expected to consider any competing interests before agreeing to review, and to confirm that they have no competing interests before submitting their review. Academic Editors are expected to recuse themselves from handling a manuscript if they feel they have a competing interest.
3
Potential competing interests should be declared even if the individual in question feels that these interests do not represent an actual conflict. Examples of Competing Interests include, but are not limited to: possible financial benefits if the manuscript is published; prior working, or personal, relationships with any of the authors; patent activity on the results; consultancy activity around the results; personal material or financial gain (such as free travel, gifts, etc.) relating to the work; personal convictions (religious, political, etc.) which may have a bearing on the work, and so on.
4
While possible financial benefits should appear here, actual funding sources (institutional, corporate, grants, etc.) should be detailed in the funding disclosure statement.

Funding Disclosure

1
Separately from declaring Competing Interests, PeerJ Computer Science also requires that authors disclose the financing which made their work possible.
2
The Funding statement is published in the final article. This disclosure provides added transparency.

Ethics Statement

1
Where applicable, PeerJ Computer Science requires that authors provide an Ethics statement which details the relevant ethical standards which were met when conducting the research.
2
Ethics statements are required whenever research is conducted on humans (or human tissue) or whenever the approval of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) was required.
3
In addition to providing an Ethics statement upon submission (for review purposes), this same statement should also be provided in the Materials and Methods section of the manuscript.
4
Where IRB approval was required, the authors must provide an ethics statement as part of their Materials and Methods section detailing full information regarding their approval (including the name of the granting organization, and the approval reference numbers).​​ If an approval reference number is not provided, written approval must be provided as confidential supplemental file.

Dual Use Research of Concern

1
The publication of certain information may be considered harmful - for example the publication of dangerous software vulnerabilities.
2
On a case by case basis, PeerJ Computer Science reserves the right to consider whether or not a submission could be considered as sensitive in this context.
3
If an author, editor or reviewer feels that a submission may be subject to concerns surrounding dual use then it is incumbent on them to report this concern to staff.

Data and Materials Sharing

1
PeerJ Computer Science is committed to improving scholarly communications and as part of this commitment, all authors are responsible for making materials, code, data and associated protocols available to readers without delay. The preferred way to meet this requirement is to publicly deposit as noted below. Cases of non-compliance will be investigated by PeerJ Computer Science, which reserves the right to act on the results of the investigation.

- Where suitable domain-specific repositories do not exist, authors may deposit in either Dryad, Dataverse, the Open Science Framework, or an institutional repository and provide the access information with the manuscript. Alternately, authors may choose to deposit non-standard data (including figures, posters, rich media) on Figshare or PeerJ Preprints, for example. In all cases, the DOI reference (where applicable) should be provided in the article.

- Any supporting data sets for which there are no suitable repositories may be made available as publishable Supplemental Information files by PeerJ Computer Science.

- Data should be provided in an appropriate, machine-readable format. Note: formats such as PDF, Powerpoint, and images of tables etc. are not considered suitable for raw data sharing.

- In accordance with the principles in Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials (National Academies Press, 2003), research using proprietary data must also evaluate a piece of comparable public data if the authors cannot or do not make the proprietary data available.

- We strongly encourage that the software be made open source, available under an appropriate license, and deposited in an appropriate archive.

2
In all cases, accession / deposition reference numbers must be provided in the manuscript.
3
Some repositories offer authors the option to host data associated with a manuscript confidentially, and provide anonymous access to PeerJ Computer Science for reviewing purposes. Therefore, if allowed by the repository, it is the authors' responsibility to coordinate prompt public release of the data with the repository on the publication date if kept confidential during peer review.
4
Any potential restrictions on data, code or materials (for example: proprietary data, material limitations, or information relating to human subjects), including how other researchers might attempt replication without this data, must be disclosed at the time of submission. PeerJ Computer Science reserves the right to refuse consideration of such articles.

Reporting and Study Guidelines

1
We strongly recommend (and in some cases require) that authors adhere to the reporting standards which have been adopted by their field (or which apply to their study design).
2
Authors should indicate which standards were followed and should, where appropriate, provide checklists, protocols, flowcharts etc as Supplemental Information as part of their article submission. Where accession or reference numbers have been obtained, these should also be provided in the text.
3
As a general statement, data should be referred to by the most specific identifier available for the database archive it is submitted to.

Human Subjects Research

1
For experiments involving human subjects, appropriate approval must have been obtained from the relevant approval body (in most cases the authors’ Institutional Review Board, or ethics committee). The authors must provide an ethics statement as part of their Materials and Methods section detailing full information regarding their approval (including the name of the granting organization, and the approval reference numbers). If an approval reference number is not provided, written approval must be provided as a confidential supplemental information file. Any research must have conformed to the Declaration of Helsinki. If an approval was not obtained, the authors must provide a statement explaining why it was not needed.
2
Authors must include a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all subjects. If consent was written, an empty copy of the consent form used should be provided as a Confidential Supplemental Information file. If consent was verbal instead of written, then an explanation should be provided (in the Materials and Methods section), and verbal consent must have been approved by the IRB which gave permission for the study.
3
Individual privacy and anonymity must be protected. Identifying information (such as names, photographs, identifying data) should not be included in the manuscript. Exceptions can be made only when evidence is provided that the individuals in question have given explicit approval. More information about individual privacy, anonymity, and informed consent can be found in the ICMJE Privacy and Confidentiality guidelines.

Procedures


Reviewer and Editor Blinding

1
Authors may request that specific individuals be prevented from seeing their submission (a practice known as 'blinding').
2
Requests to blind individuals should be limited in nature, should refer to specific individuals (not broad lists or categories of people), and should be made only with good reason.
3
While we will attempt to honor these requests, we cannot guarantee that all requests will be honored.

Appeals

1
If an author feels strongly that an inappropriate decision has been made on their decision, then PeerJ Computer Science allows them to make a single Appeal.
2
Appeals must be submitted with detailed information as to why the original decision was in error.
3
We will first approach the original academic editor and determine whether, in light of this feedback, they now wish to change their mind. If they do not, then a second Academic Editor (or in some cases a committee of Academic Editors) will be asked to make an adjudication. In some cases this may involve re-review of the article.
4
The new decision is considered final.
5
Authors should be aware that Appeals often take some time to be resolved.

Blogs, Embargoes, and the Media

1
PeerJ Computer Science does not consider articles which have previously appeared in a recognized peer reviewed journal (as this represents dual publication).
2
PeerJ Computer Science accepts submissions which have previously appeared on preprint servers (including PeerJ Preprints and arXiv); have previously been presented at conferences; or have previously appeared in other ‘non journal’ venues (for example: blogs or posters).
3
We encourage authors to discuss and disseminate their findings as they wish. If they are discussing submissions which have not yet been formally accepted, then they should state this fact. If they are discussing with journalists, they should inform the editorial office so that we are aware of potential news deadlines.
4
When an article is selected to be Press Released, PeerJ Computer Science will set an embargo on news coverage corresponding to the publication date of the article. Once it is set, we request that news media do not publish stories ahead of this embargo (primarily as the final article itself will not be available until that date).
5
Once accepted and press released, authors may not prevent journalists from discussing an embargoed article with other researchers (for example by requiring an NDA to be signed).

Commenting Policies

1
PeerJ requires that all public comments follow the normal standards of professional discourse.
2
All commenters are named and their comments are associated to their PeerJ profile.
3
PeerJ does not allow anonymous or pseudonymous commenting or user profiles.
4
If a Commenter has any possible Conflict of Interest, they should declare this conflict as part of their Comment.
5
PeerJ does not tolerate language that is insulting, inflammatory, obscene, or libelous.
6
PeerJ reserves the right to edit/remove all or parts of Comments to bring them in line with these policies. Repeat offenders will have commenting rights removed. PeerJ is the final arbiter as to the suitability of any comments.
1
PeerJ Computer Science publishes accepted manuscripts under a CC BY license.
2
It is the author’s responsibility to obtain the appropriate permissions from the original publisher to republish any previously published text, figures, tables, Supplementary Information, etc., in an Open Access journal under a CC BY license.

Retraction Policy

PeerJ Computer Science reserves the right to retract articles which are found to be fraudulent (for example subject to deception such as data manipulation) or in serious breach of one of our policies.

These policies are made available under the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license and can be copied for reuse with attribution.