Also see the journal's author instructions
PeerJ is an Open Access, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal. It considers and publishes Research Articles in the Biological and Medical Sciences. It aims for rapid decision making and will publish articles as soon as they are ready.
Taking its inspiration from PLoS ONE, PeerJ selects articles based only on a determination of scientific and methodological soundness, not on subjective determinations of 'impact,' 'novelty' or 'interest.' It applies the highest standards to everything it does - specifically, the publication places an emphasis on research integrity; high ethical standards; constructive peer-review; exemplary production quality; and leading edge online functionality.
PeerJ operates a 'Lifetime publishing plan' model. Unlike many Open Access publications which charge authors per publication, PeerJ provides low-cost publishing plans to individuals, which gives them lifetime rights to publish with us (for free). All authors on a paper must have a 'paid publishing plan' and there are 3 publishing plans, each conferring different rights. The three plans are: Basic (which allows for publishing once per year, for life); Enhanced (which allows for publishing twice per year, for life); and Investigator (which allows for publishing an unlimited number of articles per year, for life). Each plan also includes other benefits as laid out on the publishing plan page.
Authors can pay for a publishing plan at any point in time, however by the time of publication all Authors must possess a paid plan. Authors who choose to pay at submission get the cheapest rates, however authors can choose to submit for 'free' and pay only once accepted - in that instance their publishing plan rates are slightly higher. 'No questions asked' waivers are available for authors from certain countries. Editorial decisions are made by independent Academic Editors based on the merits of each submission - in no way does the publishing plan status affect editorial decisions.
PeerJ can accept submissions directly, or alternately via PeerJ PrePrints. Papers can be of unlimited extent, contain unlimited color images, and can include supplementary materials. We encourage Open Peer-Review - specifically, reviewers are encouraged to identify themselves when submitting their reviews; and authors are given the option to post the full peer-review history of their submission alongside their published article (a policy which has been successfully pioneered by The EMBO Journal).
We believe that PeerJ will build a community of engaged scholars and that the community will collectively alleviate the burden of seeking and providing review comments. Therefore, a requirement of the publishing plan is that each person must perform one review per year, or risk their publishing plan lapsing. A review is loosely defined, and can be a question/comment in our PrePrint Server, a question/comment on a published article, or a formal peer review on a submitted article (if qualified and invited).
PeerJ is indexed in all major Abstracting & Indexing databases. The journal is currently indexed by PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, Google Scholar, the DOAJ, the ACS databases, EMBASE, CAB Abstracts and Europe PMC. We also expect to be indexed in services such as MEDLINE and Web of Science (although their evaluation periods are longer). All content is published using a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY).
Also see PrePrint author instructions
PeerJ PrePrints is the 'pre-print' area of PeerJ. Similar to pre-print servers that already exist (for example arXiv.org), authors can submit draft, incomplete, or final versions of articles they are working on. By using this service, authors establish precedent; they can solicit feedback; and they can work on revisions of their manuscript. Once they are ready, they can submit their pre-print article into PeerJ (although it is not a requirement to do so).
PeerJ PrePrints will only accept submissions in the same subject areas as PeerJ (initially this means in the Biological and Medical Sciences). In order to submit to PeerJ PrePrints, at least the submitting author must have a user account with PeerJ. There is no pre-publication peer-review of submissions; however we reserve the right to introduce a basic quality filter. Submissions are made using the same platform as with PeerJ, although some of the requirements are less stringent. Articles are not typeset, but we do provide automated conversion into PDF.
The default is for a PeerJ PrePrints publication to be fully open to all viewers (what we call a 'public' pre-print).
All plans, including free plans, are able to publish unlimited public preprints.