What is PCI Forest and Wood Sciences?
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences is a 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, although, of course, it remains possible to submit a recommended preprint to a traditional journal.
- 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- PCI Forest and Wood Sciences is transparent: reviews and recommendations (for unpublished articles) and recommendations (for published articles) are freely available for consultation.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).
Managing board of PCI Forest and Wood Sciences
- Erwin Dreyer (INRAE, Nancy)
- Francis Martin (INRAE, Nancy)
- Jean-Michel Leban (INRAE, Nancy)
- Hervé Cochard (INRAE, Clermont Ferrand)
- Jürgen Bauhus (University of Freiburg)
- Laurent Augusto (INRAE, Bordeaux)
- Eric Badel (INRAE, Clermont Ferrand)
- Serge Garcia (INRAE, Nancy)
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;
- Urban forestry;
- 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 …).
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences recommends only preprints of high scientific quality that are methodologically and ethically sound. To this end, PCI Forest and Wood Sciences:
- Requires data, computer codes and mathematical and statistical analysis scripts to be made available to reviewers and recommenders at the time of submission and to readers after recommendation.
- Welcomes reproductions of studies.
- Welcomes preprint submissions based on preregistrations (whether or not reviewed).
- Welcomes preprints reporting negative results, provided that the questions addressed and the methodology are sound.
- Does not accept submissions of preprints presenting financial conflicts of interest. Other conflicts of interest must be minimal and declared.
- Ensures that, as far as possible, the recommenders and referees have no conflict of interest with the content or authors of the study being evaluated.
PCI Forest and Wood Sciences does not guarantee the evaluation or recommendation of all submitted preprints. Only preprints considered interesting by at least one competent recommender (equivalent to an associate editor in a classical journal) will be peer reviewed. The interest of the preprint, as determined by the recommender, can relate to its context, the scientific question addressed, the methodology, or the results. PCI Forest and Wood Sciences has a large number of recommenders, ensuring a considerable diversity of interests. The recommendations published by PCI Forest and Wood Sciences are designed to draw the attention of the research community to the qualities of the article, including the subjective reasons for the recommender’s interest in it.
Type of articles
The articles recommended may be of different types: reviews, comments, opinion papers, research articles, data papers, technical notes, computer notes, etc. Preregistrations should be submitted to PCI Registered Reports.
Repeatability of science and open science
PCI wants to promote scientific repeatability and reliability to improve the overall robustness and integrity of our scientific conclusions. To this aim, PCI has set up three mandatory rules and makes two suggestions to authors:
Articles recommended by PCI must provide the readers with:
- Raw data, made available directly in the text or through an open data repository, such as Zenodo, Dryad or some other institutional repository (see Directory of Open Access Repositories) with a DOI. Data must be reusable, and the metadata and accompanying text must, therefore, 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 or through an open data repository, such as Zenodo, Dryad or some other institutional repository (see Directory of Open Access Repositories) with a DOI. The scripts or codes must be carefully described such that another researcher can run them.
- Details on experimental procedures must be given in the text.
Suggestions to authors:
- PCI encourages authors to submit preprints based on 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 of clarifying their hypotheses, avoiding confusing “postdictions” and predictions, and carefully planning appropriate statistical treatment of the data (e.g. see 10.1073/pnas.1708274114).
- Preregistrations should be submitted to PCI Registered Reports
- PCI welcomes submissions proposing replication studies. All submissions are assessed according to the same criteria, provided that the article is considered interesting by the recommender handling it and the research question is judged to be scientifically valid.
Peer Community In is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). In addition:
- Financial conflicts of interest are forbidden, see the PCI code of conduct.
- Authors should declare any potential non-financial conflict of interest.
PCI also recommends “postprints”, which we define as research papers that have already been published in peer-reviewed journals. PCI also considers books to be postprints because, despite not being evaluated by reviewers or editors before being published, they are often treated as such by academics.
As postprints (other than books, see above) have already undergone peer review before publication, an additional PCI peer review is not required for their recommendation. Each postprint recommendation is written by at least two PCI recommenders. Authors cannot submit their own articles or books to a thematic PCI for postprint recommendation. Instead, a postprint recommendation must be initiated by a recommender who has read the postprint and considers it worthy of recommendation. The recommender must then find at least one other co-recommender for completion of the recommendation process.
When a postprint recommendation is published by a thematic PCI, the word “postprint” is printed below the image illustrating the postprint, to differentiate it from preprint recommendations.
The recommendation text is published with a DOI, but is not accompanied by a peer review or editorial decision.
Inclusiveness and equity
PCI is attentive to equity and inclusion at all steps of the process of scientific article evaluation. PCI focuses on bringing more people underrepresented in academia among authors submitting to PCI, and reviewers, recommenders and managing board members working for PCI. Underrepresentation is hereby linked to many factors including career stage, gender and geography.
Specific recommendations are made to reviewers, recommenders and managing board members to increase equity and inclusiveness in each of their tasks.
Tools to increase equity and inclusiveness:
- Possibility to submit articles anonymously
- Transparency in the evaluation of articles
- Managing Board members take into account underrepresentation in academia when appointing new recommenders
- Template messages to recommenders and reviewers include recommendations about equity and inclusiveness
- Possibility to review anonymously
PCI is signatory of the Joint Statement of Principles of the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communication (C4DISC)