2021 at PeerJ

As 2022 starts, we wanted to take a look back at the last 12 months for PeerJ.

PeerJ Sections in 2021

We were excited to not only completely refresh the design and functionality of PeerJ‘s Sections in 2021, but also to launch three brand new sections: Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders; Global Health; and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. We also expanded the Brain Section to include Cognition and Mental Health. We’ve welcomed eight new Section Editors to the team, our newest recruit being Professor Stefano Menini – you can read a new interview with Stefano here. We’re looking forward to new developments across the 14 Sections of Life & Environment this year, and will be launching our first new Sections in PeerJ Computer Science.

PeerJ Special Issues and a new user interface

In response to feedback from our Editorial Board Members, we embarked on a new program of Special Issues. We launched 12 calls for papers in 2021 and the first Special Issues will be published early in 2022. To facilitate an easy abstract submission and review process, we built a new platform, the first of a host of updates to the PeerJ site. Just recently we introduced an entirely rebuilt user interface, which is available now to logged-in users. We want to hear your feedback on the updates, so please reach out to the PeerJ Communities team with your thoughts.

PeerJ Contribution Points relaunched

In June we announced a reboot of the PeerJ Contribution Points, recognizing the most prolific contributors to PeerJ over the last 9 years. We now have over 50 Gold, Silver and Bronze Contributors, and just recently we were delighted to welcome our fourth Gold Contributor, Pedro Silva. You can read more about Pedro’s contribution on the blog.

Rethinking Sound Science

In August we announced that we were rethinking our approach to sound science, and introducing a new pre-review evaluation of submissions to relieve congestion of peer review and provide a better service to authors, our Editorial Boards and reviewers. The response so far has been positive, but we always welcome all feedback on our approach to peer review.

A new membership model for institutional partners

We were excited to welcome our first institutional partners in our pilot project of three year fixed term memberships. The University of Ottawa and UC Berkeley were the first to join the pilot, and we’re looking forward to announcing three new partners in the next couple of months. We still firmly believe in PeerJ’s membership model in achieving affordable Open Access, and so we also took a deep dive into how Professor Rob Toonen has created a collaborator network of over 50 researchers with Lifetime Memberships.

A busy year of PeerJ Awards…

Despite the pandemic continuing to make conferences difficult in 2021, we were very happy to be able to sponsor PeerJ Awards at 17 events. If you’d like PeerJ to sponsor an award in 2022, please contact PeerJ Editorial Community Manager Gavin Morrison for more information.

…and a busy year on the blogs

With well over 20 in-depth author and editor interviews, 2021 was a busy year on the blogs, with in excess of 100,000 readers. Perhaps the most well-received blog series has been “Advice to My Younger Self – 5 Tips for Early Career Researchers“, so we were absolutely thrilled to round off the year with a new addition to the series from Professor Dorothy Bishop.

There’s more…

What else did we find time for in 2021? We announced a new policy to make it easier to change your name on published PeerJ articles, launched new homepages for our journals and a new Twitter account, supported Peer Community in Registered Reports, celebrated PeerJ Computer Science‘s 500th article and introduced new ways to share your research on social media.

There was also the small matter of peer reviewing and publishing over 2,500 research articles, recruiting 300 new Editorial Board Members and launching a dozen PeerJ Collections.

Thank you from PeerJ!

We have a small team at PeerJ, but a huge community, and we couldn’t have done any of this without you – so thank you!

More to come in 2022

We don’t like standing still at PeerJ, and we’re already working on some very exciting plans for the coming months. Later this month we’ll be announcing a completely new and innovative approach to rewarding contributions to peer review, and we’re also really looking forward to working with new partners on PeerJx – we’re expecting to launch our first partnerships in the next few months, so stay tuned!

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