Engage with PeerJ articles or preprints, earn credit, and publish for free!

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At PeerJ, our mission is to not only drive the costs of academic publishing down, but to also create an environment where authors know that if they publish with us then they will receive timely and helpful feedback. This is a symbiotic relationship central to the world of academia – if you help improve the work of others, then you will receive help in return. Therefore, to incentivize this kind of interaction, if you engage with a peer-reviewed article or preprint on the PeerJ site you’ll earn contributor credit that can then go towards waiving your entire individual author fee when you come to publish with us (normally $99/author). Everyone wins! (Note: If you already have a plan then this is your chance to get an additional publication without needing to upgrade).

So, how do you qualify? It’s simple! Our site provides several ways for people to interact with articles. To qualify for this offer, you simply need to add some relevant text to any of our articles or preprints (this can be a question, some feedback, or an answer to a question). You must then have that text ‘voted up’ by another user or ‘accepted’ by the author of the article (this ensures that you have added something ‘meaningful’). Doing so will mean that you won’t need to take out a publication plan when you come to publish with us (for details see the small print below).

Why do we think this kind of interaction is a Good Thing?

  • * We have heard time and again that people are posting preprints because they want feedback from their community – feedback which will help them improve their work. This is exactly the same as circulating an early draft around to colleagues for their input, but because it now happens online there is the potential to receive feedback from a much broader group of peers. In this way, the knowledge and input of external readers can significantly improve an article, even before submission for formal peer-review.
  • * Or consider the fact that the authors of an article will invariably have far more knowledge than they were able to put into the published text. Any of the readers of that article might have a question about the research, and instead of trying to figure out what the authors meant they would like to just ask them directly. They can now do so with our Q&A functionality at the ‘paragraph’ or ‘whole article’ level. Future readers then get the benefit of the clarifications and additional information that this generates.
  • * And of course any article may have thousands of readers, any one of whom might have information about the topic. If a question or some other issue has been left on an article, then there is a good chance that one of the readers will know the answer and be able to provide it, even if the authors are unable to. In this way new collaborations can evolve and experts can demonstrate their knowledge of a field.

In all of these interactions, open commenting captures wisdom that would normally remain ‘hidden’. Every interaction of this type in our system accrues ‘academic contribution’ points to the creator, and as a result you can now quantify the ways in which you have helped to improve scholarly content. The end result is that articles are enriched with valuable information, and at the same time the people doing that enrichment are able to demonstrate their expertise, interact with new colleagues and ultimately build their reputations.

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Because we believe in these benefits, we are running this promotion to encourage anyone to comment, provide feedback, or to ask or answer questions on PeerJ. Search our current database of Q&A at https://peerj.com/questions/ or leave your own Question by simply clicking on any paragraph of any PeerJ article, or by clicking the “Feedback” or “Questions” links at the bottom of any PeerJ PrePrint.

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The small print:

* This offer is initially running through the end of August 2014.
* To qualify, you must do one of the following: leave ‘Feedback’ on a PeerJ PrePrint; ask or Answer a Question on a PeerJ PrePrint; ask or Answer a Question on a PeerJ article; or ask a Question on a specific paragraph of a PeerJ article. That piece of text must then receive an ‘upvote’ from another user or be ‘accepted’ by the Author of the article in question.
* Doing so will mean that the next time you submit an article to PeerJ (at any time within 12 months of having qualified for this offer) you will not need to purchase a personal Publication Plan for yourself (your co-authors will still need to buy their own plans, unless they have also qualified in this way of course) or upgrade to a higher plan.

* This offer is open to those submitting a new manuscript on or after June 17, 2014.

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