Last updated: February 24, 2023

Qeios

Publishing Policy

  1. Aims and Scope
  2. Open Access
  3. Copyright
  4. Authorship
  5. Ethics
  6. Peer Review
  7. Data Sharing
  8. Preprint Posting
  9. Archiving and Preservation
  10. Corrections, Expressions of Concern, and Retractions
  11. Advertising and Publishing Fees
  12. Integration with ORCID
  13. Contacts

Aims and Scope

Qeios' mission is to provide the world with Open Access, neutral, and reliable scientific information and to maximise the dependability, transparency, and trustworthiness of the peer review system.

To this aim, Qeios has adopted a post-publication, open peer review model, in which the authors' and reviewers' identities are disclosed not only to one another but also to the wider public of readers. We believe that open peer review favours more honest reviewing, preventing reviewers from following their individual agendas, helps detect conflicts of interest, and increases transparency in the manuscript valuation process.

Qeios' model and continuous publishing schedule enables researchers to publish research rapidly while facilitating and encouraging the most valuable discussion around it.

Furthermore, by not excluding research on the basis of subject area, Qeios facilitates the discovery of connections between research whether within or between disciplines.

Open Access

Qeios applies the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) license to published works (please see Copyright for more information). This license was developed to promote Open Access – namely, free immediate access to, and unrestricted reuse of, original works of all types. Under this license, authors agree to make works legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute, or reuse these works, as long as the author and original source are properly cited.

Qeios is a Crossref member. Every work receives a DOI upon publication, thus making research easy to find, cite, link, and assess.

Qeios proudly signed the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which recognises the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.

Copyright

At Qeios, we believe that authors and reviewers deserve to retain the copyright of their hard work rather than being required to transfer it to their publishers.

Furthermore, it is in the best interest of both authors and readers if the published works can be accessed by everyone for free and with no barriers. This is why all Qeios content is immediately and permanently made available Open Access on our website. There are no paywalls, and no registration is required to read research on Qeios.

The copyright of works on Qeios belongs to their authors, who are licensing to Qeios their reproduction. All research content on Qeios, peer reviews included, is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) license, which also determines how the content can be reused and shared. This license follows the highest dissemination standards, and it fulfils the typical research funders' requirements in this regard. Similarly, all data is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Public Domain (CC0) license, as outlined in our Data Sharing policy.

Authorship

Authorship refers to the identities of the persons who have contributed to a certain work, and serves two main purposes: provide credit for the authors' contribution to the work and provide accountability for the work's content and consequences (see the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's book "On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research", chapter "Authorship and the Allocation of Credit": "an author who is willing to take credit for a paper must also bear responsibility for its errors").

Each co-author listed in a work on Qeios shall have made identifiable and meaningful contributions to the work itself and shall be held accountable for those contributions. However, the concept of "contributions" can be ambiguous and lead to uncertainty about the actual quantity and quality of the contributions, also depending on the specific discipline or field. This is why different guidelines exist for the attribution of authorship.

For example, in the medical field, the ICMJE recommendations base authorship on four criteria:

In the natural sciences, it is common to follow the recommendations from PNAS USA's 2018 article Transparency in authors' contributions and responsibilities to promote integrity in scientific publication, which include adopting the CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) methodology for attributing contributions, and requiring authors to use the ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) persistent digital identifier.

Qeios encourages all authors to follow the authorship guidelines most relevant to their specific field, and to include in their work a clear "author contributions" section according to the CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) methodology mentioned above. The remaining contributors who don't meet the criteria for being included among the co-authors shall still be credited but shall be listed in the "acknowledgements" section instead. This provision is also intended to mitigate the impact of the so-called "neo-colonial research", i.e., the practice where researchers from wealthier countries collect data and information in developing countries, analyse them back home, and publish the results, with little participation of, and therefore no credit to, local researchers.

Qeios also strongly encourages researchers to follow the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings, i.e. to actively collaborate with their fellow peers from the specific locations where their studies are conducted, to involve them in the broadest range of activities whenever possible, and to recognise their contributions in a fair and objective way.

Qeios recommends that all users create an ORCID iD and provide it upon registration to the Qeios platform. ORCID's unique alphanumeric codes help identify researchers in an unambiguous way, as well as retrieve with ease their current affiliation, peer review contributions, and publication history. With regard to affiliations, whenever an author has multiple affiliations, for the purpose of a certain work, the primary one should be the organisation where most of that work was carried out.

The publication of works on Qeios is the responsibility of the corresponding author. The corresponding author is also responsible for all communications with Qeios and with any person interested in the published work, for collecting all the co-authors' names and affiliations, and including any necessary declarations (e.g., of potential competing interests) on their behalf, for the entire content of the work (e.g., text, calculations, data, images, figures, tables, references), for ensuring that all content is in proper English, for ensuring that the work complies with all relevant guidelines, policies, and regulations, and for resolving any disputes (e.g., authorship disputes, copyright and intellectual property disputes) arising with reference to that work.

When publishing the work, the corresponding author is declaring that all co-authors have agreed on and approved its entire content, including the co-authors' order and their contribution statements. Writing assistance besides basic copy editing, if relevant, shall be disclosed and acknowledged as well as part of the corresponding author's responsibilities.

Ethics

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as right and wrong. In scientific publishing, Ethics refers to the guidelines for authors and peer reviewers aimed to guarantee integrity in both the creation and the dissemination of research.

In matter of Ethics, Qeios adheres to the guidelines developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) – in particular, the Core practices, the Ethical guidelines for peer reviewers, the Journals' Best Practices for ensuring consent for publishing medical case reports, the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing – and by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) – in particular, points II E «Protection of Research Participants», III B «Scientific Misconduct, Expressions of Concern, and Retraction», III D «Overlapping Publications», III L «Clinical Trials», IV A 3 D i «Selection and Description of Participants» from the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (latest update: May 2022).

Researchers shall be free to pursue their research activity without being censored. At the same time, the scientific community has the moral obligation to prevent any harm arising from said activity or the dissemination of research results. The scientific community shall always keep in mind the two guiding principles of research Ethics: beneficence and non-maleficence, i.e. maximising all possible benefits while minimising any unavoidable harms.

Therefore, while conducting their activity in order to advance knowledge in the best interest of the public good, researchers shall use all best endeavours to respect all forms of life – both human and non-human – and our environment. Research activity shall comply with all applicable guidelines, laws and regulations, respect the dignity and rights of all parties involved, and not cause any unnecessary harm or suffering, both directly and indirectly.

If human or animal subjects are involved, the guidelines reported below in our policies on Human and Animal Rights apply.

Where applicable, authors shall provide an Ethics statement detailing the relevant ethical standards that were met when conducting the research.

Qeios does not tolerate scientific misconduct, i.e., the violation of ethical principles in performing and publishing scientific research. According to the National Science Foundation's Research Misconduct regulation (45 C.F.R. part 689), the three main types of scientific misconduct are the «fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing or performing research […], reviewing research proposals […], or in reporting research results.

  1. Fabrication means making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  2. Falsification means manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
  3. Plagiarism means the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit.»

Additional scientific misconduct practices include, for example, authorship disputes, intellectual property disputes, failure to disclose competing interests, or poor record keeping.

In case of allegations of misconduct, Qeios follows the COPE guidelines and flowcharts, in particular: Suspected ethical problem in a submitted manuscript, Peer review manipulation suspected during the peer review process, and Peer review manipulation suspected after publication. Additional COPE resources, such as "Cases", are also taken into consideration, e.g., Case number 04-14 (Potentially unethical publication), 11-20 (Duplicate publication allegation), 21-01 (Preprint plagiarism), 19-04 (Suspected plagiarism), 19-01 (Reviewer requesting addition of multiple citations of their own work).

Human and Animal Rights

All studies where human subjects are involved shall comply with all relevant ethical guidelines, laws, and regulations. Also, if human subjects are involved, the principles set in the WMA Declaration of Helsinki shall apply. These include the provisions of art. 9 («It is the duty of physicians who are involved in medical research to protect the life, health, dignity, integrity, right to self-determination, privacy, and confidentiality of personal information of research subjects»), art. 23 (Research Ethics Committees), art. 25-32 (Informed Consent), art. 33 (Use of Placebo), art. 35-36 (Research Registration and Publication and Dissemination of Results).

Additional resources, such as the Belmont Report (Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research), the European Commission's Ethics in Social Science and Humanities document, and the International Ethical Guidelines for Health-related Research Involving Humans by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), shall also be taken into consideration.

Research works on Qeios where human subjects are involved shall include a section identifying the ethics committee/institutional review board approving the study, if applicable, and include a statement affirming that valid informed consent was regularly obtained from all participants. In this regard, please see our policies on Informed Consent below.

All studies where animal subjects are involved shall comply with all relevant ethical guidelines, laws, and regulations. Also, when animal subjects are involved, the principles set in the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) guidelines shall apply. These include the provisions of The ARRIVE Essential 10, art. 8 (Experimental animals) and art. 9 (Experimental procedures), and of The Recommended Set, art. 14 (Ethical statement), art. 15 (Housing and husbandry), and art. 16 (Animal care and monitoring).

In addition, particular attention should be paid to ensure adequate and transparent reporting of the design, conduct, and analysis of any studies involving animals. For this purpose, Qeios encourages the authors to follow the recommendations on animal studies developed by the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Research works on Qeios where animal subjects are involved shall include a section identifying the ethics committee/institutional review board approving the study, if applicable, and include a statement affirming that any experiments performed conform to relevant regulatory standards.

The authors shall not autonomously determine any exemption, exclusion or other forms of waiver from the above requirements, but rather indicate the specific institutional/regulatory policy that explicitly establishes or recognises them.

Informed Consent

Informed consent is a fundamental principle in medical/research ethics. It states that patients/research participants shall be given sufficient relevant information in advance to make a conscious, free decision about their involvement in a health care intervention/research clinical trial, or about the disclosure of any of their personal information to a third party. Informed consent shall be collected complying with all relevant ethical guidelines, laws, and regulations.

For informed consent to be collected validly, three elements are required:

  1. Disclosure, i.e., the health care providers/researchers shall have supplied the prospective subject in advance with all the information necessary to make informed decisions.
  2. Capacity, i.e., the prospective subject shall have the ability to fully understand not only the information provided, but also the potential consequences of their decisions.
  3. Voluntariness, i.e., the prospective subject shall be able to form and express their decisions freely and independently, without any external conditioning or pressure.

Research works on Qeios where human subjects are involved shall include a statement affirming that valid informed consent was obtained from all participants, describing the method by which such informed consent was obtained, and disclosing whether the participants received any form of payment/reimbursement for their participation. Upon request, the authors shall be able to demonstrate with sufficient evidence that the informed consent was, in fact, obtained regularly. In any case, specific details about the patients/research participants involved shall only be provided if scientifically relevant and deemed essential for correctly interpreting and understanding the case report or study.

Whenever research works on Qeios include descriptions, images, or videos where patients/research participants are identifiable, an additional statement must be included in which the authors affirm that they have obtained informed consent for the publication of said material. The patients/research participants involved should also have been offered the possibility to view the manuscript before its publication.

The authors shall use all the best endeavours to protect the human subjects' anonymity whenever possible. For this purpose, making data less specific is acceptable, whereas arbitrarily modifying it is not. Similarly, cropping images and videos with the purpose of removing non-essential personal features is acceptable, whereas arbitrarily modifying them is not. Simply applying a black censor bar over patients'/research participants' eyes is not considered a sufficient form of anonymisation. The patients'/research participants' names, initials, or other specific personal identifiers shall never be included anywhere. Qeios reserves the right to remove from publication any descriptions, images, or videos that do not comply with these policies.

Competing Interests

"Competing interests", or "conflicts of interest", occur when the authors (or their employers, or sponsors) have a personal stake that could potentially interfere with the impartiality of their research. Potential competing interests can be financial or non-financial, professional, or personal.

Examples of competing interests include (but are not limited to): possible financial benefits if the research work is posted; patent activity on the results; consultancy activity around the results; personal material or financial gain (such as free travel, gifts, etc.) relating to the work; personal convictions (religious, political, etc.) which may have a bearing on the work, and so on.

In matter of competing interests, Qeios adheres to the ICMJE recommendations. Of particular importance is point II B «Disclosure of Financial and Non-Financial Relationships and Activities, and Conflicts of Interest» (latest update: May 2022). Qeios also follows the COPE guidelines and flowcharts on Conflicts of interest/Competing interests, and in particular: Undisclosed conflict of interest in a published article. Additional COPE resources, such as "Cases", are also taken into consideration, e.g., Case number 04-08 (Undeclared conflict of interest), 11-04 (Possible conflict of interest), and 01-39 (Referee with a conflict of interest).

Potentially competing interests should always be fully disclosed to enable peer reviewers, all readers, and stakeholders in general to make an informed judgement about the potential for bias. Therefore, all authors on Qeios must include a "Potential competing interests" statement in their research works. Such a disclosure provides full transparency and increases the credibility of the authors' output in the eyes of the scientific community and the general public. If there are no potential competing interests to declare, a "No competing interests" statement shall be added.

For more detailed competing interests guidelines specifically on the peer review process on Qeios, please see our Peer Review policies.

Peer Review

Peer review and peer feedback are the backbone of research, and are of paramount importance for professional growth and improvement. Peer review is the evaluation of research works authored by some scientists, carried out by some other scientists with similar competencies ("peers"). It helps foster credibility in academic publishing and keep the quality standards of the published research high. Everyone at Qeios – team members, authors, and readers – is wholeheartedly grateful to each peer reviewer for the generous amount of time and effort they invest to make science better.

In contrast to many other scientific journals, where peer review serves the scope of supporting an editorial decision on whether a certain research work should be published, peer review on Qeios is meant to provide the authors with constructive feedback and suggestions to help them improve their papers, and to inform readers of the papers' validity. In an effort to remove editorial bias, on Qeios, reviewers alone decide on the validity of the papers, and publicly communicate with the authors with no intermediary. Reviews are published under a CC BY 4.0 license alongside the articles, get citable DOIs and Altmetric tracking, are indexed in Google Scholar, and can be easily added to the reviewers' Publons and ORCID profiles.

Qeios' open peer review model – where the authors' and reviewers' identities are disclosed not only to one another, but also to the wider public of readers – makes sure that peer reviewers get the recognition they deserve for the important work they do.

We also believe that the disclosure of identities puts reviewers in a more constructive mindset, making them feel more like allies of the authors rather than gatekeepers. Reviewers on Qeios can focus on helping authors improve their papers rather than on assisting editors with editorial decisions. Furthermore, open peer review favours more honest reviewing, preventing reviewers from following their individual agendas, helps detect conflicts of interest, and increases transparency in the manuscript assessment process.

Qeios' efforts to remove editorial bias, speed up the discovery rate, favour good science, and spot flawed research have culminated in another important decision: we've opted for a post-publication peer review process, meaning that research articles on Qeios undergo peer review after publication. This eliminates any editorial gatekeeping, dramatically increasing the speed of dissemination of research and the speed and accuracy of identification of good and flawed research. In fact, the reviewing process isn't capped at 2 or 3 peer reviews, but potentially dozens of peers with field expertise can take part in it.

Importantly, all articles undergo a basic, AI-assisted checking process for plagiarism and non-scientific or offensive content before publication, and are marked as "Awaiting Peer Review" upon publication until they have received the first peer reviews.

How the Reviewing Process Works

Peer reviews on Qeios can be upon invitation or spontaneous.

Upon invitation by Qeios. Our AI identifies potential reviewers among qualified researchers with field expertise. Potential reviewers are contacted and invited to publicly review the article on Qeios. The number of reviewers who get invited to review a certain article varies depending on the specific characteristics of the article. Importantly, given Qeios' commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, invited reviewers' demographics are typically the broadest and most diverse possible.

Spontaneous. Qualified researchers registered on Qeios can autonomously decide to review articles published on Qeios. We encourage all researchers who feel they can contribute valuable feedback and information to the authors and readers to spontaneously participate in the peer review process. This helps rescue from groupthink and adds a holistic attribute to the reviewing effort.

The transparency and trustworthiness of this model are guaranteed by the fact that each peer review is published in the reviewer's name, with no possibility of anonymous reviews. Reviews can be commented on, and comments can be upvoted/downvoted by other peers. The fact that all users are publicly responsible for their actions acts as a deterrent for potential misconduct. In any case, misbehaviour and misusage can be reported to the editorial team, which shall seek to resolve any dispute in accordance with the standards of this publishing policy and our Conduct Policy.

Sometimes, peer reviewers may have competing interests. Reviewers shall disclose any potential competing interest in relation to the article they are reviewing in the "Declarations" section of their review. In case a substantial competing interest exists, reviewers shall refrain from reviewing at all.

Reviewers, with or without potential competing interests to declare, shall carry out a scientifically rigorous and unbiased review, focusing on objective data and neutral statements, while keeping subjective reasoning to a minimum.

When reviewers get an "Invitation to review" email from Qeios and would like to accept it, they should simply click the link that they find in the email and click the "Accept" button on the invitation page that opens up. Upon acceptance, reviewers will receive an email with instructions and can proceed as follows once the review draft is created on Qeios:

  1. give a 1 to 5 stars rating to the article by clicking on the greyed-out stars;
  2. paste or write the review into the "Paste or write your Review here" field;
  3. click the "Post" button. That's it – the review will be made instantly available for anyone to read and cite.

Peer reviews on Qeios require 3 pieces of information in order to be completed and posted:

  • A target, i.e., the linked title of the article being reviewed. This is automatically generated, so reviewers won't need to manually add this information.
  • A body, i.e., the reviewer's feedback and suggestions for the authors, and information for the authors and readers about the validity of the article.
  • A rating, i.e., a 1 to 5 stars vote that allows reviewers to express and summarise their assessment of the article in a clear, objective, and unambiguous way.

There are no hard deadlines or time limits for reviewing articles on Qeios. However, for invited peer reviews, we normally suggest completing the review within 4 weeks of our invitation since a timely review is undoubtedly appreciated by both the authors and readers.

Evaluation criteria that reviewers shall consider when performing their review

  1. Ethics. All articles must comply with our Ethics policies and must show no sign of scientific misconduct, such as citation manipulation, data fabrication or falsification, and plagiarism.
  2. Quality. Articles should be based on accurate and reproducible data obtained from rigorous study designs analysed with appropriate statistical techniques. For biomedical articles, the authors should prove to have followed the relevant guidelines reported in the NIH National Library of Medicine's Research and Reporting Guidelines list. The research hypothesis should be appropriate, clear, specific, testable, and falsifiable (i.e., able to be proven false). The results should not only be valid, but also be explained in a clear and logical way. The conclusions should be supported by the results, and their implications should be addressed. The writing style should be clear, cohesive, and easily intelligible. Ideas should be articulated and conveyed in a logically organised flow. The English language should be grammatically, logically, and syntactically correct.
  3. Impact. Articles should be interesting and significant, deal with important issues and/or topics of interest for the scientific community and the general public of readers, and have practical applications and/or relevant implications. The York University's Research Impact Statement describes research impact as «when the knowledge generated by our research contributes to, benefits and influences society, culture, our environment and the economy». Timely publication, e.g., articles on COVID-19 published during the recent COVID-19 outbreak, should also be taken into consideration when evaluating articles based on the "Impact" criterion.
  4. Novelty. Articles that are creative and original, advance understanding or bring other innovations to their field, or are on a new topic about which little is known or little literature is available, should be awarded a bonus.

The rating system

The 1 to 5 stars rating system shows different colours:

  • Red, average rating ≤ 2. The article has not been approved by the reviewers and should be revised.
  • Green, 2 < average rating ≤ 4. The article has been approved by the reviewers, but additional revisions could further improve its quality.
  • Gold, average rating > 4. The article has been approved by the reviewers and it is considered of high quality.

When a Qeios article has received at least four peer reviews, the 1 to 5 stars rating indicates whether the article has passed peer review, and, therefore, its approval status:

  • Red. Not approved.
  • Green. Approved.
  • Gold. Approved with distinction.

Reviewers shall carry out negative peer reviews in a constructive and respectful way. They shall avoid any expressions that may sound offensive and shall explain the weaknesses of the article in a kind and professional way, helping the authors understand the reasons for the negative rating and what they can improve in new versions of their article.

Data Sharing

As explained by the NIH in its new Data Management and Sharing policy (effective January 25, 2023), sharing scientific data "accelerates biomedical research discovery […] by enabling validation of research results, providing accessibility to high-value datasets, and promoting data reuse for future research studies". Data sharing also helps build and maintain public trust in research and manage conflicts of interest.

Importantly, data sharing is essential for the reproducibility of research, which is one of the pillars of the scientific method. Reproducibility allows independent researchers to confirm or refute the conclusions of the scientists who originally conducted the study, and it is, therefore, a fundamental attribute of any research work.

The most straightforward way to enable the reproducibility of a research work is to make all data supporting the results easily, freely, and openly available to the scientific community. This helps, among other things, deter data fabrication/fraud and identify honest mistakes.

"Data" may comprise not only the raw and processed data, but also the code, methods, protocols, and software used.

Authors on Qeios are expected to include a data availability statement in their research works, delineating what kind of research data is available, where, and under what conditions the relevant research data can be accessed (e.g., if the peer reviewers ask to access the data as part of their evaluation process). In particular, in accordance with the principles of open science, the authors shall describe with sufficient detail the methods used to obtain both the raw and the processed data.

In clinical trials and other biomedical research works involving human patients/research participants, authors shall include a data sharing statement providing the information described in the section L2 "Data Sharing" of the recommendations by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), i.e.:

Unless data sharing is not applicable (i.e., no new data was analysed or generated), or ethical, legal, or privacy reasons prohibit the authors from sharing data, Qeios strongly encourages all authors to share the relevant data by uploading it to the "Supplementary data" section of their research works, and archiving it in other dedicated repositories, such as Figshare, Mendeley Data, Dryad, or Zenodo. The chosen repository should mint permanent identifiers, such as DOIs, and meet FAIR and long-term preservation standards.

Data associated with Qeios works are made available under the terms of a Creative Commons Public Domain (CC0) license. This facilitates and encourages re-use and helps prevent the problems of attribution stacking when combining multiple datasets each authored by multiple authors that use multiple different licenses.

Preprint Posting

A preprint is a version of a scientific article that precedes publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal or platform.

The posting of preprints in dedicated venues has risen in recent years as a solution to scholarly publishing delays. Preprinting is now a widely accepted and encouraged practice that does not create copyright hurdles or duplicate publication issues with the majority of scientific journals and platforms.

Importantly, the immediate, open-access circulation of preprints also creates an opportunity to collect early feedback from peers and to secure the paternity of research results.

Qeios not only encourages the posting of preprints in venues of the authors' choice, but offers a preprinting possibility itself, with a unique set of benefits. Researchers can upload their preprints at https://www.qeios.com/article-submission-form and get them automatically posted on qeios.com within 1 business day. While on Qeios, preprints have a chance to get invited expert feedback from dozens of peers all over the globe, and the authors can amend them with no limits. This helps further increase the visibility of the posted research and the acceptance for publication by the authors' preferred journals — in fact, the peer feedback received on Qeios can be considered by journal editors at submission, speeding up the publication process.

Qeios preprints can easily be made "final publications" on qeios.com by updating them with a new article version. When a new version is created, the authors have the possibility to remove the "preprint" label and end the preprint status. The newly created article version will be subject to the Qeios' Peer Review policies.

Archiving and Preservation

Portico and the British Library are among the largest digital archives in the world. Working with libraries and publishers, they preserve e-journals to ensure researchers and students will have access to it in the future.

We use Portico and the British Library as our archiving solutions, to ensure the long-term survival of web-based scholarly works in the unlikely event that Qeios stops running for any reason.

All research works published on Qeios receive a DOI and are permanently available to all readers.

Corrections, Expressions of Concern, and Retractions

At Qeios, we strive to provide the most trustworthy venue for scientific research. To maintain the integrity, accuracy, and validity of research works, we rely on our editorial team and the wider community of scientists.

Qualified researchers with field expertise can publicly voice their concerns about a Qeios article by posting a peer review of it. This can be autonomously done by both invited and spontaneous reviewers as soon as they identify an issue. Importantly, peer reviews, too, can be assessed on their validity thanks to an upvote/downvote system and a commenting possibility. This creates an accountability circle that favours good science and helps highlight, investigate, and resolve issues much faster.

In case the community of peers detects an issue that the authors cannot, or do not want to, resolve with an updated version of their article, they can instantly notify the editorial team thanks to our reporting system. The "Report" tool is accessible by any researchers registered at Qeios from the 3-dot menu of the article page. The same possibility exists for peer reviews too: issues concerning a peer review can be reported by registered scientists using our "Report" tool, accessible from the 3-dot menu of any peer review page.

As soon as a report is made and the editorial team is notified of an issue, the appropriate procedures are initiated. The «Post-publication discussions and corrections» guidelines and flowcharts by COPE and the recommendations by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (in particular, point III «Publishing and Editorial Issues Related to Publication in Medical Journals») are followed, and the most suitable remedies are taken.

In addition to this, authors and peer reviewers can submit an appeal at any time by sending an email to info@qeios.com to dispute any decisions that have been made.

Corrections

Authors on Qeios can autonomously update their research articles in a few seconds. If an author notices a typo that they had overlooked before, or if a reviewer suggests a correction that they would like to incorporate right away, they can proceed with the amendment by creating an updated version of their article. The "History" tab in the upper right corner of any article shows the history of all the versions of the article, making sure that no information is lost in the updating process.

Given that most corrections and post-publication updates can be autonomously carried out by the authors by creating a new article version, the editorial team intervention is usually not required in cases of addenda (additions to a research article due to significant additional information emerged subsequent to its publication) or author corrections (amendments to a research article subsequent to its publication, for factual and substantial errors or honest mistakes).

However, there still exist some kinds of post-publication amendments that cannot be autonomously issued by the authors, necessitating an intervention by Qeios. These include, for example, author name changes and retractions, i.e., the withdrawal of published research articles for reasons that cannot be resolved with a post-publication amendment.

Expressions of concern

Traditionally, expressions of concern refer to notices issued by the editorial team of a scientific journal to inform and warn readers about potential reliability and trustworthiness issues of a certain research article while an investigation is being carried out, and before any necessary remedies are determined. Examples of issues are data fabrication, errors, or other types of scientific misconduct.

Qeios' post-publication open peer review model has enhanced the capability to swiftly inform readers of any concerns by transferring the warning function to peer reviewers. On Qeios, not only review reports are published alongside articles, openly providing information about potential concerns, but our 1 to 5 stars rating system acts as an immediate "warning" signal in case the average rating of an article drops below 2 stars. When this happens, the stars' colour changes from green to red and readers are readily informed that the reviewers are expressing reservations about that article's quality, reliability, or trustworthiness.

In their peer reviews, reviewers can ask for clarifications, raise specific concerns, or request additional data. The authors get instantly notified and have the possibility to publicly reply to the reviewers by commenting on the peer reviews, and to update their research works with the missing/amended information. The reviewers, in turn, can respond right away, review the updated article versions, and so forth. Therefore, Qeios enables and encourages a constructive scientific discussion between authors and reviewers. It is important to remember that this opportunity for open, ongoing dialogue is primarily meant to foster a collaborative spirit among researchers, improve articles continuously, and make research more intelligible by all readers.

Whenever the process described above highlights the need for further investigations, e.g., in case the average rating of an article that was approved by the reviewers (approval is defined by having received at least four peer reviews with an average rating above 2 stars; see Peer Review for more information) drops below 2 stars, the relevant guidelines and flowcharts by COPE and the recommendations by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (in particular, point III B «Scientific Misconduct, Expressions of Concern, and Retraction») are followed. The appropriate action is then promptly taken by the editorial team, up to, if necessary, the issuance of a retraction.

Retractions

Retractions shall occur whenever the integrity and validity of a research article are significantly undermined, e.g., because of data fabrication, ethical violations, errors that substantially impair the research work, fraud, plagiarism, or severe scientific misconduct in general. On Qeios, a research article warranting retraction is one that consistently receives negative reviews that persistently keep the article's average rating below 2 stars. Therefore, retractions are prompted by peer reviewers – also through the reporting system described above in these policies – but they're eventually actuated by the editorial team after consultation, by following the «Retraction» guidelines and flowcharts by COPE and the recommendations by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (in particular, point III B «Scientific Misconduct, Expressions of Concern, and Retraction»).

Whenever a research article is being retracted, its authors have the possibility of an appeal, for which they will need to provide new data and information addressing the issues that warranted the retraction. The editorial team's decision on the appeal is final, and no further rounds of appeal will be considered. When a research article is retracted, it is withdrawn from the Qeios website. However, a PDF version of the retracted article remains available upon request.

Advertising and Publishing Fees

On Qeios, authors can publish unlimited Open Access articles for free. Therefore, there are no author fees, i.e., no Article Processing Charges (APCs), and no reader fees, i.e., no paywalls.

Qeios' business model is simple: authors who wish to get more peer feedback on their articles can upgrade to Qeios Pro and get invited peers to review them. In fact, Pro users are granted our Reviewer Recruitment Service, meaning that our dedicated AI identifies potential reviewers among qualified researchers with field expertise, and we invite them to review and share their opinions on how the articles could be improved.

The financial resources needed to operate our platform come entirely from our Pro plan subscriptions. Qeios is not accepting any kind of direct or indirect advertising. No ads or promotional content is allowed anywhere on our platform. Furthermore, Qeios does not collect any personal/user information to sell it to, or share it with, third parties for advertising or any other commercial purposes.

Integration with ORCID

Qeios is an ORCID member and supports the use of ORCID iDs where possible. For this reason, it is recommended that researchers link their ORCID iD to their Qeios profile. It is noteworthy that the process of getting an ORCID iD is quick, easy and cost-free.

What is ORCID?

ORCID is an identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship and innovation activities. It provides a persistent identifier for humans, similar to that created for content-related entities on digital networks by digital object identifiers (DOIs).

Why is ORCID good for the researcher and the wider community?

ORCID allows identification beyond names. Globally, names can be very common, they can change, they can be transliterated into other alphabets, and so reliably linking researchers with their research and organisations can be difficult - this is solved through a unique ORCID iD.

An ORCID iD also allows researchers to keep a constantly updated digital curriculum vitae. Individuals decide to register, which research activities to connect to their iD, which organisations to allow access, what information to make publicly available, what to share with trusted parties and what to keep private. Individuals can control their profiles and can change these settings and permissions at any time.

What happens after you connect your ORCID iD to Qeios

Once you have connected your ORCID iD to Qeios and given the necessary permissions, all work that is published with you named as an author will automatically be added to your ORCID account, relieving you to do this each time.

How we integrate with ORCID

Qeios complies with ORCID's integration and engagement program "Collect & Connect":

  • we collect and store authenticated ORCID iDs for authors;
  • we publicly display the iD icons for those authors, linked to their ORCID account;
  • we connect to the researcher's ORCID account and update it with newly published works.
2019 ORCID Collect & Connect badge -- Authenticate 2019 ORCID Collect & Connect badge -- Display

Contacts

Feedback, general enquires and complaints

Editorial Office
Email: info@qeios.com
Telephone: +44 (0) 7414 687029

Enquires about collaborations

Gabriele Marinello, CEO and Co-founder
Email: gm@qeios.com
Telephone: +44 (0) 7426 853828

Qeios is published by Qeios Ltd, London, UK
ISSN 2632-3834