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High-quality peer review

All the benefits of traditional peer review updated for the 21st century
  • A dedicated editor handles your article.
  • Two or more reviewers provide in-depth, thoughtful, constructive reviews.
  • Multiple rounds of review.
  • 30 days to first decision (median). Significantly faster than PLOS ONE (2.5x) and Scientific Reports (1.7x).
  • Our submission system is built from the ground up to make submitting, reviewing and editing as easy - and dare we say enjoyable - as possible. This in turn delivers more in-depth reviews, faster, and more often.

Scroll down to see the different stages your article will pass through.

Your peer-review timeline

Prepare article materials

Our Author Guidelines explain how to prepare for submission.

Submit article

Most journals use off-the-shelf software you'll recognize. It's clunky, frustrating and feels decades old! PeerJ is custom designed and developed in-house, using the same modern tools and approach as Google and Facebook.

And like these modern websites, we prioritize making submitting as easy and enjoyable as possible. Submitting your article doesn't have to be painful!

A recent author comment:
The online interface for submitting the paper was THE BEST submission interface I have ever used. I wish all journals would use this interface. Clean. Easy. No bugs. Loved it!

Preview submission interface

Article checks

Staff check your article to make sure you have submitted everything correctly.

Many articles fail these checks the first time round so don't worry if this happens to you!

Desk reject

Know within days (not weeks or months) if your manuscript can be published at PeerJ. For example if your article is out of scope, does not have the required ethical approvals, does not meet our publishing quality requirements etc.


Tweak submission and resubmit

The majority of authors resubmit their articles within a few hours.

Article checks pass

Day 0

Editor assigned to article

We identify the most appropriate editor to handle your submission, selected from our 1,709-member editorial board.

If none of the relevant academic editors agree to handle your submission, we will unfortunately have no option but to return it to you. This is not a rejection, but rather we must decline to handle it - which is simply a function of being unable to find a editor on the board to handle it.

Day 2-7

Editor recruits reviewers

Your editor identifies potential reviewers and personally invites them to review your submission. Most editors recruit 2 reviewers, but sometimes more may be required.

Reviewers review your article

Your reviewers are supplied with everything they need to complete a thorough review of your submission. Happy reviewers deliver great, constructive reviews. And our reviewing workflow has been built from the ground up to make your reviewers' work as easy, well-supported and enjoyable as possible.

Editor makes first decision

If your article receives a major or minor revision decision, it is highly likely your article will eventually be published.

Day 30

Revise article and resubmit

You receive your review feedback and requested changes from your editor and reviewers, and revise your submission.

With each resubmission you are required to submit a response letter and a version of your manuscript highlighting the changes you have made.

Editor makes next decision

Revise and resubmit

The number of times you'll need to resubmit before your accept decision depends on a number of factors. Most submissions are accepted after 1 or 2 revisions.

Editor makes accept decision

Your editor decides that your article is ready for publication.

Production checks

Now that we know your article is to be published, staff need to complete final checks to make sure our typesetters have everything they need to produce your article PDF.

Production tasks

You may need to upload additional high-quality images, or make other tweaks highlighted by staff in production checks.

This is also when many authors submit their payment.

Article proof created

The first version of your final PDF is created.

Proof check your article

Please take the time you need to ensure that you have thoroughly checked your proofing PDF to spot any minor corrections needed.

At this stage, we ask that you identify and correct typos.

No significant changes to the content should be introduced after acceptance.

Staff proof check

Staff complete a final proof check sweep of your article.

Final version of PDF created

The final version of your article PDF is created, and scheduled for publication.

We will let you know in advance of when your article will be published.

Article published

Day 74 (median)

Disseminate your research

Publishing your article marks the start of its dissemination journey. The more you share it within the first 6-12 months, the more views and citations it will receive.

PeerJ helps you do this with your Impact Toolkit - a collection of tasks, tools and information resources to help you share your research.

We also actively share our articles with our press contacts, through our social media accounts, and on our blog. Read more about this on our Broad audience page.

Milestone email alerts

We'll email you when you article reaches key view, download and citation milestones.