Our Editorial and Advisory Board members told us that publishing in computer science was ripe for change. In order to fully address the changing needs of the computer science community we soon realised that we would need to create a dedicated space to do this.
The Computer Science community has different publication expectations, so by building a dedicated journal we are able to iterate based on the feedback from the community. For instance publication in Computer Science mostly happens at conferences, and journal publication in this field is often very slow and rarely open access. By offering a dedicated open access journal we can help to educate the community on the benefits of publishing this way. Also, we may even be able to operate at the intersection of conference and journal publishing by creatively adding elements to our platform that mirrors some of the publishing experience found at conferences.
We were already proud of the speed of publication we offer the biomedical community (currently a median of 27 days to a first decision), and we want PeerJ Computer Science to operate at similar speeds. However, the way we operate our editorial and peer-review criteria too may need to be different for this community. For instance theoretical papers are very much part of the output of the Computer Science community, and we also hope to be creative when it comes to integrating source code and utilizing it.
Computer Science is a field that has only minimal overlap with bio/medicine, so rather than pool the needs of each community together we wanted to address them in a more dedicated way. Our readers are still able to search simultaneously across both journals, so it will be a seamless experience from that perspective.
So to use Computer Science terminology – we merely ‘forked’ off a new journal with its own traits and paths, but our core mission still remains the same.