At PLOS Computational Biology, one of our driving motivations is to provide services and support to our community of authors, editors, reviewers and readers. Transparency and reproducibility in peer review and reporting of results are two key aspects of that mission, and we are very pleased to announce a pilot on the journal that aims to support both of these aspects of publishing.
Our Managing Editor, Gary Beardmore, and Editor in Chief, Jason Papin, have been working with the Center for Reproducible Biomedical Modelling. Through this collaboration we will soon be able to offer expert technical peer review specifically checking that submitted systems biology or physiology-based models run according to the results presented in the manuscript submitted to the journal. The peer review will be delivered in addition to our usual scientific assessment of the manuscript, and for the duration of the pilot it will be optional for authors to take part. The expert peer reviewers will be eligible for inclusion in our collaboration with ORCID to get credit for the review work that they complete. Furthermore, as for all manuscripts published at PLOS Computational Biology, authors will have the option to make the expert review open – alongside the other reports on the manuscript – in our published peer review.
We plan to monitor the pilot and to report back on the results next year. The aim is for the review process to be completed in the usual time frame for manuscripts at the journal, and for authors to feel that it provided them with additional guidance regarding the reporting of their models. Overall, we hope that this pilot will contribute to making it easier for interested readers to reproduce and build on models published in the journal – supporting the science going forward.
Original image by Rita Bhui