Launch Day – What Next?

We have been really excited by the reception that PeerJ received after our announcement and we would like thank all of our well-wishers and new members for their support.

A big announcement like yesterday’s naturally leads to questions, and we weren’t able to cover everything via Twitter, so we wanted to take this opportunity to answer some of them here.

How will you build your prestige?

That is a valid question for a new publication from a new company. We understand that authors care where their articles are published and that they want to publish in venues with good reputations. The prestige of a journal can come from many sources – for example, it can be conferred by the historical brand which has been built up over time, or by the journal’s level of exclusivity (by applying a high rejection rate, for example).

PeerJ does not have some of these advantages (we have not been in existence for centuries and we will not apply an artificial rejection rate just to provide prestige). Instead, we plan on gaining prestige by the quality of the Editorial Board that we will recruit; by the quality of service that we will provide to our authors; and by the quality of our overall process and final publications.

The first step is to build an Editorial Board. Having announced our existence we will now spend the next few weeks sourcing and inviting practicing academics to join our Editorial Board. We expect that our fresh approach to Open Access publishing will attract some of the top names in each of the fields in which we publish. While we undertake this process, if you would like to be considered for the Editorial Board, or would like to nominate anyone who should be on it, then please email us at

What did you mean when you talked about driving the costs for authors down to zero?

When we first started discussing what success would mean for PeerJ, we felt that publication fees of zero were the thing we should ultimately aim for. Can you imagine a world where it is free to publish as well as free to read? Of course getting there may not be possible, and will undoubtedly take several years, but we believe we should at least try for it.

To do so will mean finding new ways to cover costs (as well as reducing the costs that we incur). As a result, PeerJ plans to introduce additional products and services down the line, all of which will be aligned with the goals of the community that we serve. We will be introducing new and innovative B2B revenue streams as well as exploring the possibility of optional author or reader services working in conjunction with the community. Our intention is that over the coming years we will be able to push author costs downward.

What does it mean to be a tech-oriented publisher?

The short answer is that we intend to manage PeerJ with the same principles, best practices, and experimentation that exists within the tech community. And one principle that really excites us is the need to open source what we are building, back to you.

It’s clear looking around today that there are not enough experiments being done around research data, metadata, and more. Part of our engineering efforts will go to not just the core platform for hosting a peer-review and publishing system, but to create small independent modules. Some of these may never make it to the primetime, but most certainly they’ll be open sourced back to the community. We’re very eager to see what you can do to enhance or extend the tools that we are building. And PeerJ makes no claim over what you choose to do with our open sourced code, except that, in turn we ask that you open source what you build. We are looking to release some of the first open sourced code in early 2013.

As explained, the beliefs of PeerJ are to operate an innovative business and to pass any savings along to the community that we serve.

Pete & Jason – Co-Founders PeerJ

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