Want to publish for free in PeerJ?

November 22, 2013


As a nice little perk–presumably for being early adopters and users of PeerJ–Mike and I each have been given a small number of referral codes, which will allow other folks to publish in PeerJ for free, as long as the papers are submitted by March 1, 2014. Here’s the scoop, straight from the monkey’s mouth:

If you have colleagues who would like to publish at PeerJ, then we want to give them the opportunity to try us out for free. Therefore, as a Published PeerJ Author, we are providing you with 5 unique ‘Referral Codes’ (which expire on March 1st) to distribute to your colleagues. Each code entitles the recipient to an entirely FREE PeerJ publication. They simply need to quote your referral code in the “Notes to Staff” field, when they submit to PeerJ, and as a result they will be able to publish that article for free (assuming it passes peer-review). Please disseminate these codes to colleagues who you feel will use them, but please make sure that they realize that this code is only valid for submissions made before March 1st, 2014.

Note that this is alongside the current promo wherein, if you post a preprint to PeerJ PrePrints (which is a smashing way of getting fast feedback, or at least it was for us), that manuscript can be published in PeerJ for free, as long as it is formally submitted before January 1, 2014. So if you can get the lead out before the end of the year and don’t have an allergy to fast feedback, you don’t actually need one of these codes.


So. If you’re not a PeerJ member but you have a manuscript that you’d like to send to PeerJ before the first of next March, let us know and we’ll hook you up with a referral code. If you’re fairly sure you will use one but aren’t ready to ship yet, let me know and I’ll set one aside for you, with the proviso that I can give it away if we’re getting close to the deadline and you’re not realistically going to make it.

If we get more takers than codes, we’ll figure out some fair way of choosing who gets a code, probably randomly. I will be strongly biased toward people without big paychecks* or institutional support, like grad students and postdocs. (If you’re an undergrad, you can already publish in PeerJ for free, at least for the duration of the pilot program.) So if you’re a grad student or postdoc with a serious plan to get published, speak up and you’ll go to the head of the line. So if you let us know why getting a code would benefit you, you’re more likely to get one.

* I know in academia none of us think we have big paychecks, but compared to most grad students and postdocs, those of us with steady full-time employment are living the dream. I’m trying to reach the folks for whom the $99 lifetime membership fee would be a genuine impediment.


As is apparently the usual thing now when I’m writing about PeerJ and don’t have any images of my own queued up, I’ve borrowed images from Brant Bassam’s astoundingly cool BrantWorks.com to spice up this post. Explicit permission to reproduce the images with credit can be found on this page, which is coincidentally where these images themselves are from. Get on over there and prepare to lose some time looking at sweet stuff.

Update! Five more Golden Tickets available!

As noted in the comment below, Heinrich Mallison also has five PeerJ vouchers to distribute to deserving causes. So if Matt and I run out, the options are still open. Feel free to contact Heinrich directly or to go through us if you prefer.


9 Responses to “Want to publish for free in PeerJ?”

  1. Chuck Magee Says:

    Is there a physical sciences version?

  2. Mike Taylor Says:

    Sorry, I don’t know of a physical-sciences equivalent to PeerJ. Although of course there’s always arXiv.

  3. Mike Taylor Says:

    I’m delighted to announce that the first two golden tickets have been found! They go to Emanuel Tschopp and Octávio Mateus, who plan to publish Tschopp’s specimen-level diplodocoid phylogeny in PeerJ.

    Here’s the abstract from the 2013 SVP talk:

    Since the late 1800s, numerous diplodocid species were and continue to be described from the Jurassic of the USA, Tanzania, Europe, and possibly Asia. More than 30 different species have been proposed, some now regarded as invalid. Recent phylogenetic analyses of Diplodocoidea resolved intergeneric relationships, but by using Apatosaurus and Diplodocus as terminal taxa, they relied on earlier identifications of single specimens, which are not all beyond doubt. In order to test the validity of these previous referrals, a specimen-based phylogenetic analysis was conducted. This approach was previously done for Apatosaurus, but is here applied for the first time for the entire clade of Diplodocidae.

    The present phylogeny includes all diplodocid holotypes (including the recently described Kaatedocus siberi), as well as the more complete non-type specimens that provide overlap of skeletal elements between fragmentary holotypes (e.g. Barosaurus American Museum of Natural History [AMNH] 6341). The data-matrix counts more than 40 ingroup specimens, and nearly 30, mostly species level, outgroup taxa, ranging from more basal Diplodocoidea (e.g. Dicraeosaurus) to titanosauriforms (e.g. Brachiosaurus), and early eusauropods (e. g. Shunosaurus). The character list amounts to nearly 500 characters, which makes the analysis one of the most detailed studies of sauropod phylogeny performed to date.

    The resulting cladogram yields the classical arrangement of diplodocid relationships, but also detects cryptic taxa previously included in well-known genera, which are generically different (e.g. ‘Diplodocushayi). Counting the number of autapomorphies for different diplodocids allows for a relatively objective way to decide if genus-level separation is warranted. It thereby shows that diplodocine diversity has been underestimated, and that the sauropod fauna of the Morrison Formation (Western USA) in particular was even more diversified than previously thought. Based on individual specimens, the study furthermore shows that skulls previously referred to Diplodocus might actually belong to different diplodocine genera, as none of the included diplodocid skulls consistently groups with the Diplodocus types, which all consist of exclusively postcranial material. Such a specimen-based phylogenetic analysis thus proves to be a valuable tool to validate historic species and specimen identifications in sauropods, and in paleontology as a whole.

    I can scarcely imagine a more appropriate paper for us to support (at no cost to ourselves!) Matt and I are both very much looking forward to reading this paper, and really pleased that it’s going to be in PeerJ!

  4. Andrew Thomas Says:

    I’ve found the third golden ticket!

    While I don’t have an abstract ready to go, my project concerns the evolution of the manus of the stinkin’ ornithopods. It took some arm-twisting to convince Matt that the specimens wouldn’t be more useful ground up as kitty litter, but he finally cracked!

    **Proceeds to run for it, run straight home and not stop ’til I get there!**

  5. Thomas Munro Says:

    I have a golden ticket too! My paper has nothing to do with sauropods; it explores why kappa opioid antagonists induce scratching in mice. So apparently I’m the Mike Teavee of the piece – an irritating foreign brat who really didn’t deserve it.

  6. I also have codes, valid for submissions BEFORE March 1, 2014.

  7. Mark Young Says:

    Thanks to Matt for offering to set aside one the codes. Lorna Steel and I are still deciding upon which manuscript to submit, but it will be one of our descriptive papers on a Kimmeridgian-Tithonian metriorhynchid.

  8. Two down, I still have three codes available!

  9. […] remember this? Your bound-for-PeerJ manuscript is like our Mauritian friend here, and the March 1 deadline is […]

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