In a nutshell
Copernicus Publications has been offering the innovative Interactive Public Peer Review since 2001. In a first stage, manuscripts that pass a swift access review by the handling editor are posted as preprints (discussion papers) in the journal’s discussion forum. They are then subject to interactive public discussion, during which the referees' reports are posted as comments (anonymous or attributed), short comments can be posted by members of the scientific community (attributed), and the authors' replies are published. In a second stage, the peer-review process is completed and, if accepted, the final revised papers are published in the journal. All referee and editor reports, the authors' response, as well as the different manuscript versions of the post-discussion review of the revised submission, are published too. To ensure publication precedence for authors, and to provide a lasting record of scientific discussions, the discussion forum and the journal are both permanently archived and citable.
Type of project
Goals and intentions
The process aims to provide both rapid scientific exchange and thorough quality assurance. Through the immediate posting of manuscripts after a swift access review, scientists receive a fast record of their research as a preprint (discussion paper). The Interactive Public Peer Review enhances transparency as referee comments, author comments, and the comments of the scientific community are published online and are openly accessible. However, the process meets the criteria of traditional quality assurance as papers undergo revisions and are only published as final revised papers in the journal after final acceptance by the editor. In summary, the process fosters scientific discussion, maximizes the effectiveness and transparency of scientific quality assurance, enables rapid dissemination of new scientific results, and makes scientific publications freely accessible (Pöschl 2012, 10.3389/fncom.2012.00033, van Edig 2016, https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-649-1-28). This process is applied successfully in 20 of the 42 journals we publish.
What is reviewed