What is Peer Community in Forest and Wood Sciences?
Peer Community in Forest and Wood Sciences (PCI Forest and Wood Sciences) is a community of researchers working in the scientific fields mobilised for understanding: (i) the large dynamics in forest ecosystems at all relevant scales and their responses to global and local changes (climate, land use, pathogens, …..) and (ii) the valuation of the services produced by these ecosystems. The community gathers forest scientists as well as specialists in biology, ecology, economy, engineering, chemistry, social sciences and humanities, whose skills are required to understand, organize and define politics around the complex dynamics undergone by forests and the services they provide. These issues enter into a context of intensive changes of land use, climate, and other factors and the need to develop an innovative bioeconomy based on forests and their products. PCI Forest and Wood Sciences is a community of recommenders playing the role of editors who recommend unpublished articles based on peer-reviews to make them complete, reliable and citable articles. It will concentrate whenever possible to those preprints with a focus on long term dynamics of forests and of a forest based bioeconomy. To a lesser extent, the PCI will recommend particularly interesting published articles dealing with important or debated issues in forest and wood sciences. Evaluation and recommendation by PCI Forest and Wood Sciences are free of charge. When a recommender decides to recommend an article, he/she writes a recommendation text that is published along with all the editorial correspondence (reviews, recommender's decisions, authors’ replies) by PCI Forest and Wood Sciences. The article itself is not published by PCI Forest and Wood Sciences; it remains in the preprint server where it has been posted by the authors and can still be submitted to a journal after taking comments, criticism and suggestions into account.
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences is the first community of the parent project Peer Community In, an original idea of Denis Bourguet, Benoit Facon and Thomas Guillemaud.
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences is not designed to be a free peer-reviewing service for authors aiming to improve their articles before submission to a journal. It is, of course, possible, for authors to then submit their recommended article to a traditional journal, but this is not the goal of PCI Forest and Wood Sciences.
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences is stimulating: it recommends remarkable articles.
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences is free: there are no fees associated with the evaluation process, and no charge for access to the comments and recommendations. The website is freely accessible.
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences is transparent: Reviews and recommendations (for unpublished articles) and recommendations (for published articles) are freely available for consultation. Recommendations are signed by the recommenders. Reviews may also be signed if the reviewers agree to do so.
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences is not exclusive: An article may be recommended by different Peer Communities in X (a feature of particular interest for articles relating to multidisciplinary studies) and may even be published in a traditional journal (although this is not the goal of PCI Forest and Wood Sciences).
Why submit your preprint to PCI Forest and Wood Sciences?
Which manuscripts can be recommended?
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences will evaluate preprints, and to a lesser extent articles published in journals, dealing with all fields of forest and wood sciences and in particular with these thematic fields:
Tree biology and physiology: integrative biology, ecophysiology, adaptation to global change;
Biology of wood in living trees: cambial activity and wood formation, dendrochronology, wood anatomy and tree functioning or evolution, wood traits and tree ecology, tree biomechanics and mechanoperception;
Interactions between trees and microorganisms: symbioses, pathogens, decomposers; forest pathology and epidemiology;
Forests and animals: entomology, pests, fauna, population dynamics;
Functional forest ecology (carbon, water and energy cycles): interactions with the environment, adaptation to climate change;
Forest soils and nutrient cycles: soil biology and soil science, fertility and site factors;
Population dynamics and genetics of forest trees, genomics, biotechnologies;
Forest history: historical forest ecology, responses to global change, wood as historical tracers;
Conservation and restoration of forests;
Inventory and assessment of forest ressources and forest dynamics;
Silviculture and forest management: adaptive forestry, multifunctional forestry, forest engineering and logistics, forest regeneration;
Wood properties and wood products: quantification of the variability at different scales ranging from intra ring level up to the forest resources; understanding the relationships between wood anatomy and wood physical, chemical and mechanical properties ; interactions between the growth conditions of the trees and the wood properties of the end products; optimization of the conversion of logs into end products by including interactions between wood, processes and end products;
Forest ecosystem services and forest conservation: biodiversity, water quality, recreation and others;
Forest economics: risks, environmental aspects, ecosystem services. and others;
Forest policies and social aspects of forests and forest products;
Forest based bioeconomy: new products, new uses, innovation, social issues; systemic approaches like life cycle analyses …, sustainable impact assessment of forest-wood chains (modeling, territorial LCA, economic geography …).
The articles recommended may have diverse formats: reviews, comments, opinion papers, research articles, data papers, technical notes, computer notes, movies, etc. No editing, formatting or proofing of the recommended papers is required but we provide the authors with a template if they want to format their article. We also ask the authors of recommended article to add a sentence in the acknowledgements stating that their article has been recommended by PCI Forest and Wood Sciences.
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences welcomes anonymous submissions (see details).
Peer Community In promotes the repeatability of science
PCI wants to promote scientific repeatability to improve the overall robustness and integrity of our scientific conclusions. To this aim, PCI has set up 3 mandatory rules and made 2 suggestions to authors:
Articles recommended by PCI must provide the readers:
-Raw data by making them available either in the text or through an open data repository such as Zenodo, Dryad or some other institutional repositories (see Directory of Open Access Repositories). Data must be reusable, thus metadata and accompanying text must carefully describe the data.
-Details on the quantitative analyses (e.g., data treatment and statistical scripts in R, bioinformatic pipeline scripts, etc.) and details concerning simulations (scripts, codes) in the text, as appendices, or through an open data repository, such as Zenodo, Dryad or some other institutional repositories (see Directory of Open Access Repositories). The scripts or codes must be carefully described such that another researcher can run them.
-Details on experimental procedures. These details must be given in the text or as appendices at the end of the article.
Suggestions to authors:
-PCI encourages authors to use preregistrations: Authors may post their research questions and analysis plan to an independent registry before observing the research outcomes, and thus before writing and submitting their article. This provides a way for them to clarify their hypotheses, avoid confusing “postdictions” and predictions, and carefully plan appropriate statistical treatment of the data (eg see 10.1073/pnas.1708274114).
-PCI also welcomes submissions of preregistrations. Authors can submit their preregistrations to a PCI before beginning their study, and thus before acquiring the data. Preregistrations are then evaluated by recommenders based on independent reviews, in exactly the same way as preprint articles. Preregistrations can thus be rejected or undergo revisions, improving the quality and robustness of the experimental design. When a preregistration is accepted, the subsequent article submitted to the corresponding PCI would be recommended provided the study has been conducted as described in the preregistration (or with any modifications clearly justified). In this way, an article cannot be rejected due to the outcome of the study only. Details on preregistration submissions can be found for example here.
Managing board of PCI Forest and Wood Sciences
The PCI Forest and Wood Science is still under construction. The names of the Managing Board are coming soon.
Recommenders manage the evaluation of preprints (and, to a lesser extent, published articles), which they may choose to recommend. Recommenders have a role similar to that of a journal editor (finding reviewers, collecting reviews, and taking an editorial decision based on reviews), and they may eventually recommend the article after several rounds of reviews. If they decide to recommend an article, they write a “recommendation” that has its own DOI and is published in the PCI Forest and Wood Sciences electronic journal.
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences recommenders can recommend up to five articles per year. They are expected to comply with the code of conduct of PCI Forest and Wood Sciences, are eligible for selection as a member of the Managing Board for a period of two years, and they can propose the nomination of new recommenders to the Managing Board.
The current list of recommenders can be found here.
New recommenders are nominated by current recommenders, with the approval of the Managing Board. If you are interested in becoming a recommender, please contact a current recommender in your field.