The Six Month Review of PeerJ Publications

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As of yesterday, August 12th, PeerJ  has been publishing articles for exactly six months and so we thought it might be a good time to provide a six-month review of what we have achieved in that period.

We started publishing journal articles in PeerJ on Feb 12th, 2013 and we have now published 130 articles, some of which have received over 20,000 views already and some of which have garnered significant worldwide media coverage. On April 4th we launched PeerJ PrePrints and we have now published 46 articles there, including some which are clearly on their way to becoming classics.

In the intervening time, PeerJ has established itself with all the major third party services which support the journal infrastructure:

* Our content is formally archived at CLOCKSS, LOCKSS and PubMed Central.

* Our articles are being fully indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, Google Scholar, the ACS databases and the DOAJ.

* And we are members of CrossRef, OASPA (the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association)  and COPE (the Committee on Publication Ethics).

So far, the reception to our publication service has been overwhelming. Our authors have been delighted with their experience; editors and reviewers have been able to provide extremely rapid decisions; and our Editorial Board (of over 800) have been extremely supportive of our efforts.

The response to our open peer review has also been completely positive. Right now, almost 45% of reviewers are choosing to provide their name when reviewing, and almost 80% (and rising) of authors are choosing to reproduce their peer review history alongside their publication. Examples of great open peer review include: https://peerj.com/reviews/113/ and https://peerj.com/reviews/36/. We also introduced an innovative benefit for those Peer Reviewers who submit their review on time as well as a way to publicly recognize the contributions of reviewers, commenters and editors.

In July we launched ‘Collections’ functionality which now makes us an ideal publisher for conference proceedings or symposia  (and several meetings are already working with us). And in April we announced a way for institutions to support their faculty when publishing in PeerJ via the central payment of membership fees – several institutions have already come on board with this benefit, including Duke, Birmingham, Nottingham, Arizona State, Newfoundland, Trinity and Berkeley.

Of course, it has also been very nice to also receive recognition from the wider community for our various developments. Nature has described us as a “significant innovation”; the Times Higher Education has described us as “groundbreaking”; we have been named as one of the “Top 10 Tech Innovators in the Education Sector” by the Chronicle of Higher Education; and we are one of the finalists in the upcoming ALPSP Award for Publishing Innovation.

But it isn’t all about the publishing – we have also been very active in the wider academic community. For example, we are signatories to the Budapest Declaration; SF DORA (The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment); and ICORE (The International Council for Open Research and Education), and we recently organized a Hackday in London. To further underline our support for the community, we allow all undergraduates to publish for free.

Finally, we have made several presentations about our progress to date – if you have an interest, then check out this presentation to UC Berkeley which provides a detailed overview of what we have been doing, and where the open access world is going right now.

So that is our half-year publishing review – this progress would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our staff, our Editorial Board and the hundreds of reviewers who have given their time to evaluate our submissions – we thank them all. Check out the six reasons why you should send your next article to us and subscribe to us via one of our social media channels to discover where we will go next!

The PeerJ Team

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