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All PeerJ Preprints are published under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). 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.
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By using this license, all PeerJ Preprints meet or exceed all funder and institutional requirements for being considered Open Access.
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Authors cannot use copyrighted material within their article unless that material has also been made available under a similarly liberal license.

PeerJ Account policies

The corresponding author must have at least a free PeerJ account at the time of submission.
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PeerJ reserves the right not to publish any given preprint.

Author Policies

The Corresponding Author’s Role and Responsibilities are to:

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Inform all co-authors of the submission to PeerJ Preprints (note: each co-author may receive a confirmation email upon submission).
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Manage all correspondence between PeerJ Preprints and all co-authors, keeping the full co-author group apprised of the preprint progress.
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Ensure that the preprint is in full adherence with all PeerJ Preprints policies (including such items as publication ethics, data deposition, materials deposition, etc).
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Post Publication: Respond to all queries pertaining to the published preprint, and where possible, provide data and materials as requested. This is in contrast to the peer reviewed journal, PeerJ, where data and material sharing is required.

PeerJ Preprints adheres to the ICMJE uniform requirements of authorship: All authors on an article must meet these requirements, which are extracted 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."

Publication Ethics

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PeerJ Preprints adheres to the prevailing industry standards and procedures for investigating publication ethics.
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Specifically, PeerJ Preprints 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).
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PeerJ Preprints 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 Preprints to be retracted. Any complaints should be directed to editorial.support@peerj.com

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

PeerJ 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

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PeerJ Preprints requires that all parties involved (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.
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Authors are asked to declare all competing interests upon submission.
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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 preprint is published; 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.
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While possible financial benefits should appear here, actual funding sources (institutional, corporate, grants, etc.) should be detailed in the funding disclosure statement.

Funding Disclosure

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

Ethics Statement

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Where applicable, PeerJ Preprints requires that authors provide an Ethics statement which details the relevant ethical standards which were met when conducting the research.
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Ethics statements are required whenever research is conducted on humans or human tissue; on animals or animal tissue; when conducting field studies; or whenever the approval of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) was required.
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In addition to providing an Ethics statement upon submission, this same statement should also be provided in the Materials and Methods section of the manuscript.
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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

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'Dual Use Research of Concern' is defined by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) as any "biological research with legitimate scientific purpose that may be misused to pose a biologic threat to public health and/or national security." In Computer Science, the publication of certain information may be considered harmful - for example the publication of dangerous software vulnerabilities.
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On a case by case basis, PeerJ Preprints reserves the right to consider whether or not a submission could be considered as sensitive in this context.
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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

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PeerJ Preprints should be considered works in progress, and a chance for authors to prioritize the underlying research and conclusions. Therefore unlike the peer reviewed PeerJ, we highly encourage, but do not require authors to make all data, code, protocols, and materials immediately available. For those who do share, the preferred way to meet this requirement is to publicly deposit as noted below.

- Large domain-specific datasets should be deposited in a public repository (e.g. GenBank, INSDC, Protein Data Bank, UK Stem Cell Bank, Addgene, RIKEN Bioresource Centre) and an accession number or access address provided in the published article. Additional databases may be found by consulting the BioSharing database, re3data.org, or the NIH Data Sharing Repositories list.

- 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 must be made available as publishable Supplemental Information files by PeerJ Preprints.

- Where appropriate, physical materials (for example mutant seed stock, or paleontological specimens), should be deposited in recognized centers (for example seed stock centers for the former, or recognized museums or institutions for the latter).

- A non exhaustive list of repositories for physical materials such as cell lines or mutant strains includes the RIKEN Bioresource Centre; the Jackson Laboratory; the European Mouse Mutant Archive; the European Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis Program; the American Type Culture Collection; the Knockout Mouse Project; Addgene; the Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Centers.

- Where novel research compounds are used, their chemical identity must be disclosed.

- 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.

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Authors should strive to supply accession / deposition reference numbers and are required to do so if later submitting to the peer reviewed journal, PeerJ.
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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 Preprints reserves the right to refuse consideration of such Preprints.

Reporting and Study Guidelines

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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).
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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.

Discipline Specific Standards

The following is a non-exhaustive list of standards that should be followed depending on the study type:

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Articles which report on protein structures should follow the standards laid out in the Worldwide Protein Data Bank (a general resource listing reporting standards, and worldwide deposition databases for protein information).
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Articles which report on diagnostic accuracy studies (studies which evaluate the ability of a test to differentiate between patients who have the target condition and those who do not have the target condition) should follow the STARD requirements.
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Articles which report on clinical trials will not be considered for PeerJ Preprints at this time. If you wish to publish a clinical trial, then you may do so through PeerJ, the peer-reviewed journal venue.
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Reports of systematic reviews and meta-analyses must include a PRISMA flow diagram (as Figure 1 of the manuscript) and a completed PRISMA checklist (as a Supplemental File) to accompany the main text. Authors should state (within their Methods section) whether a protocol exists for their systematic review - in which case they should provide a copy of the protocol as a Supplemental File and provide the registry number in the abstract. Authors should identify (within their Methods section) the authors who performed the search strategy. Systematic reviews or meta-analyses should include those terms in the Title, Abstract and / or full manuscript. Authors should provide the following information in a Supplemental File: 1. The rationale for conducting the meta-analysis; 2. The contribution that the meta-analysis makes to knowledge in light of previously published related reports, including other meta-analyses and systematic reviews. For meta-analyses on topics that include genetics, authors should provide a completed checklist (as a Supplemental File) outlining information about the study. Download genetics checklist (.doc).
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Reports utilizing quantitative real time PCR should follow the MIQE guidelines (the Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments) and checklist.
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Articles which report on microarray experiments should conform to the standards published by the Functional Genomics Data Society, the most well known of which are the MIAME guidelines. The MIAME checklist must be provided, and the data from the experiments must be deposited in a publicly accessible database (ArrayExpress or GEO) with the accession numbers provided in the manuscript.
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Articles which report on medical observational/epidemiological studies (specifically cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies) should adhere to the STROBE initiative.
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In addition, PeerJ Preprints suggests that authors consult the EQUATOR Network (a general resource listing various reporting standards for health research studies); the MIBBI Portal (a listing of Minimum Information guidelines from diverse bioscience communities); or the BioSharing site for additional reporting guidelines or checklists which might apply to their work.
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As a general statement, data should be referred to by the most specific identifier available for the database archive it is submitted to.

Animal Research

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For research conducted on regulated animals (which includes all live vertebrates and/or higher invertebrates), appropriate approval must have been obtained according to either international or local laws and regulations. Before conducting the research, approval must have been obtained from the relevant body (in most cases an Institutional Review Board, or Ethics Committee). The authors must provide an ethics statement as part of their Methods section detailing full information as to 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. Research on non-human primates is subject to specific guidelines from the Weatherall (2006) report (The Use of Non-Human Primates in Research).
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For research conducted on non-regulated animals, a statement should be made as to why ethical approval was not required.
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Experimental animals should have been handled according to the highest standards dictated by the author’s institution.
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We strongly encourage all authors to comply with the 'Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments' (ARRIVE) guidelines, developed by NC3Rs.
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Articles should be specific in descriptions of the organism(s) used in the study. The description should indicate strain names when known.

Human Subjects Research

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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.
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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.
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Patient 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 patient privacy, anonymity, and informed consent can be found in the ICMJE Privacy and Confidentiality guidelines.

New Species

Note PeerJ Preprints should not be used to name or propose new nomenclatural acts (as per the policies which have been put in place by organizations such as the ICZN and ICN). Instead these articles should be submitted to the peer-reviewed PeerJ journal.

Procedures


Blogs, Embargoes, and the Media

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PeerJ Preprints does not consider articles which have previously appeared in a recognized peer reviewed journal (as this represents dual publication).
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PeerJ Preprints does NOT accept submissions which have been identically posted on other preprint servers (example, arXiv). PeerJ Preprints does accept submissions which have previously been presented at conferences; or have previously appeared in other 'non journal' venues (for example: blogs or posters).
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We encourage authors to discuss and disseminate their findings as they wish. If they are discussing with journalists, they should inform the editorial office, so that we are aware.

Commenting Policies

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PeerJ requires that all public comments follow the normal standards of professional discourse.
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All commenters are named and their comments are associated to their PeerJ profile.
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PeerJ does not allow anonymous or pseudonymous commenting or user profiles.
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If a Commenter has any possible Conflict of Interest, they should declare this conflict as part of their Comment.
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PeerJ does not tolerate language that is insulting, inflammatory, obscene, or libelous.
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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.
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PeerJ Preprints publishes under a CC BY license.
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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 and Withdrawal Policy

As articles form part of the literature (and are citable, for example) they cannot be removed from PeerJ Preprints. However, in some circumstances an article may need to be withdrawn (for example, the study is flawed). In these circumstances, the article may be clearly marked as "withdrawn".

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