New approaches to peer review in the age of online, open-access publishing

Division of Paleontology (Invertebrates), American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, United States of America
Subject Areas
Evolutionary Studies, Paleontology
PCI Paleo, open data
© 2019 Hopkins
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Cite this article
Hopkins MJ. 2019. New approaches to peer review in the age of online, open-access publishing. PeerJ Preprints 7:e27972v1


“Electronic publishing” can mean a variety of things, but for the dissemination of scientific results, there are two major categories: 1) materials that have not gone through peer-review, such as community-database entries, presentations from conferences, and manuscripts posted on preprint servers; and 2) materials that have gone through peer-review and are subsequently posted online. In the latter case, the process of peer-review is usually managed by a body of editors associated with a journal. If a manuscript is published by such a journal, the reader can be assured that it went through the peer-review process successfully. In the last decade or so, journals have started to abandon printed issues of peer-reviewed articles and are now publishing exclusively online; there have also been a proliferation of new online-only journals. Concurrently, there has been a shift towards open-access publishing, which, while making scientific studies more broadly available, has also transferred the financial burden from the reader or subscriber to the authors and funding agencies. Lastly, there has been a shift in how manuscripts on preprint servers are viewed, and it is increasingly common in many scientific fields for authors to post a finalized manuscript to a preprint server prior to submission to a journal. This talk will describe the “Peer Community In” (PCI) Project, which is a non-profit organization that was established in response to these major shifts in scientific publishing. The PCI Project is comprised of communities of researchers working in different fields (including paleontology), who peer review and recommend research articles publicly available on preprint servers. The goal is to promote rigorous scientific study by providing an alternative to traditional avenues for peer-reviewed publishing.

Author Comment

This abstract was accepted for the Open Data and Analysis: from morphology to evolutionary patterns