About PCI Paleontology

What is PCI Paleontology​?

PCI Paleontology is a community of researchers working in Paleontology who peer review and recommend research articles publicly available from open archives (such as PaleorXiv or bioRxiv). Papers recommended by PCI Paleontology are finalized, peer-reviewed articles that can be used and cited, like any other article published in a conventional journal (see How does it work?).
Evaluation and recommendation by PCI Paleontology are free of charge. When recommenders decide to recommend an article, they write a recommendation text that is published along with all the editorial correspondence (reviews, recommender's decisions, authors’ replies) by PCI Paleontology. The article itself is not published by PCI Paleontology; it remains on the preprint server where it was posted by the authors. PCI Paleontology recommenders can also recommend postprints, but this is done to a lesser extent.

PCI Paleontology is a community of the parent project Peer Community In, an original idea of Denis Bourguet, Benoit Facon and Thomas Guillemaud.

PCI Paleontology 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 Paleontology is stimulating: it recommends remarkable articles.
  • PCI Paleontology 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  • PCI Paleontology is transparent: reviews and recommendations (for unpublished articles) and recommendations (for published articles) are freely available for consultation.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 Paleontology 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 Paleontology).​

Managing board of PCI Paleontology​

Jérémy Anquetin (Jurassica Museum, Porrentruy, Switzerland) [Founder and manager]
Faysal Bibi (Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany)
Guillaume Billet (Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris, France) [Founder and manager]
Andrew A. Farke (Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, Claremont CA, USA)
Franck Guy (University of Poitiers, Poitiers, France)
Leslea J. Hlusko (University of California, Berkeley CA, USA)
Melanie Hopkins (American Museum of Natural History, New York NY, USA)
Cynthia V. Looy (University of California, Berkeley CA, USA)
Jesús Marugán-Lobón (Universidad autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Ilaria Mazzini (IGAG-CNR, Roma, Italy)
P. David Polly (Indiana University, Bloomington IN, USA)
Caroline A.E. Strömberg (University of Washington and Burke Museum, Seattle WA, USA)

To contact the Managing Board please send a message to contact@paleo.peercommunityin.org

Editorial policy​


PCI Paleontology recommends articles dealing with all fields of Paleontology. PCI Paleontology primarily considers original research articles. Other types of contributions (e.g., reviews, data papers, method/software papers) may also be considered pending they are of major interest for the community and presented in a comprehensive and objective way.


​PCI Paleontology recommends only preprints of high scientific quality that are methodologically and ethically sound. To this end, PCI Paleontology: 

  • 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 Paleontology 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 Paleontology has a large number of recommenders, ensuring a considerable diversity of interests. The recommendations published by PCI Paleontology 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:

Mandatory rules:

​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 Paleontology is indexed by​







Peer Community in is member of




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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)​​​​