How it Works
Our Publishing Process
7 days
average time to publication
1. Aims and Scope
  • What is F1000Research’s Scope? +
    F1000Research publishes all original basic scientific, translational and clinical research within the life sciences and medicine, irrespective of the perceived level of interest or novelty; we welcome confirmatory and negative results, as well as null studies. Reviews and Opinion articles providing a balanced and comprehensive overview of the latest discoveries in a particular field, or presenting a personal perspective on recent developments, are also welcome.

    F1000Research operates a fully transparent, author-driven publishing model: the authors are solely responsible for the content of their article. Invited peer review takes place openly after publication, and the authors play a crucial role in ensuring that the article is peer reviewed by independent experts in a timely manner.

2. Publishing Model and Processes
  • Checks before Publication +
    All submissions to F1000Research go through a rapid initial check by the in-house editorial team before being published with the status ‘Awaiting Peer Review’. There is no Editor (or Editor-in-Chief) to make a decision on whether to accept or reject the article, or to oversee the peer-review process. F1000Research has an Advisory Board comprising a large group of leading experts across biology and medicine; they provide strategic input, advise occasionally on issues arising with specific articles, and many members of the board also act as invited referees.

    Our editorial team will ensure that the article is within scope and adheres to the ethical and editorial policies, including our data policies. The team will also check that the article is intelligible and written in good English, so it is suitable for peer review and its content can be fully assessed by invited peer reviewers and readers. If a submission fails the initial checks, it will be returned to the authors to address the issues, and if they are not resolved satisfactorily, the article will be rejected.

  • Post-Publication Peer-Review Process +
    Peer review in F1000Research takes place after publication: Once the article is published, expert referees are invited on the authors’ behalf. The peer review is administered by the F1000Research editorial team.
  • The Author’s Role during Peer Review +
    Authors are responsible for identifying suitable referees who are experts in the field and can provide an unbiased report. Before publication, authors are asked to suggest 5 potential referees; they may choose from the F1000Research Panel of pre-approved experts or select other experts with suitable experience. The editorial team may ask authors to suggest more referees until at least two suitable experts have submitted their reports.
  • Referee Criteria +
    When selecting peer reviewers, authors must apply the following criteria:
    1. Scientific expertise: Referees must have demonstrated expertise in the key topics of the study presented and/or the methods used. They must have published as lead authors at least 5 articles in international journals.
    2. Level of experience: Referees must have a formal appointment at PhD or MD level or higher at a recognised institution or organization.
    3. Independence: Referees must not be working at the same institute as the authors, should not be close collaborators of the authors or in other ways personally, financially or professionally associated with them. Referees must declare any conflicts of interest on the published report.
  • The Referee’s Role +
    Referees are given guidelines specific to each article type. They are generally asked to assess whether the research is scientifically sound, that is:
    • whether the work has been appropriately put into the context of the current literature
    • whether suitable methods have been used
    • whether sufficient information and source data have been provided to allow others to repeat every step of the work
    • whether the conclusions are supported by the findings.
    For some article types, such as Case Reports or Opinion articles, referees are asked to comment on the facts and approaches used, not necessarily whether they agree with the author’s opinion.

    In addition to their written report, referees also select one of three statuses:

    • Approved: No or only minor changes are required. For original research, this means that the experimental design, including controls and methods, is adequate; results are presented accurately and the conclusions are justified and supported by the data.
    • Approved with Reservations: The article is not fully technically sound in its current version, but the reviewer’s criticisms could be addressed with specific, sometimes major, revisions.
    • Not Approved: The article is of very poor quality and there are fundamental flaws in the article that seriously undermine the findings and conclusions.
    The approval status is shown on the article, together with the referee’s name and affiliation, and the detailed report supporting the status they selected.

    If an author decides to revise the article to address the reviewers’ comments, all referees are invited to provide additional reports on the new version; in particular if they had originally given an ‘Approved with Reservations’ or ‘Not Approved’ status, we ask them to assess whether the work has been sufficiently improved to achieve a better approval status.

  • Revisions and Updates +
    We strongly encourage authors to address the reviewers’ criticisms and publish revised versions and/or respond to the referees by adding author comments to the referee reports.

    All versions of an article are accessible and can be independently cited, but the latest version will be displayed as the default on F1000Research. A short summary of the changes is displayed at the start of each new version.

    All articles are ‘living’, even after peer review is complete: Authors can ‘update’ their articles at any time (and at no extra charge) if there have been small developments relevant to the findings.

  • Peer Review Status and Indexing +
    The peer review status of an article is clearly indicated at all stages: Immediately on publication, and until the first referee report is published, the article is labelled as AWAITING PEER REVIEW - as part of the article title and in the Open Peer Review summary box within the article HTML and PDF. As soon as a referee report is received, it is published alongside the article and the current approval status is displayed. As additional reports are received, the peer review status is updated.

    Once an article receives two ‘Approved’ statuses, or two ‘Approved with Reservations’ statuses and one ‘Approved’ status, it will be indexed in various bibliographic databases.

3. Licenses
  • The Licenses that Apply to Articles, Data and Referee Reports +
    F1000Research articles are usually published under a CC BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and leaves the copyright of the article with the current copyright holder (usually the author or his/her institution). Additional waivers are used for some governmental employees, as appropriate. As the specific version of the CC BY license applied to articles may change due to periodic updates, the copyright information for each article is shown below the abstract.

    Data associated with F1000Research articles are made available, where possible, under the terms of a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0 license). This facilitates and encourages data re-use and helps prevent the problems of attribution stacking when combining multiple datasets each authored by multiple authors that use multiple different licences.

    Referee reports that are published with a given article are available under the CC BY license.

4. Indexing
  • When and Where Articles are Indexed +
    Articles are immediately indexed in Google Scholar.

    Once an article has passed peer review, i.e. it has received at least two ‘Approved’ statuses, or one ‘Approved’ and two ‘Approved with Reservations’ statuses from independent and invited peer reviewers, it will be indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, Europe PMC, Scopus, Chemical Abstract Service, British Library, CrossRef, DOAJ and Embase. If an article is indexed, all versions, along with any associated data sets and referee reports, are deposited in PubMed Central.

5. Citing F1000Research Articles and Referee Reports
  • Citing an Article +

    Articles in F1000Research can be updated and amended at any time post publication, but each version is independently citable with its own DOI (digital object identifier). The most recent version is displayed as the default.

    Every article is indexed by the CrossMark Identification Service™, which summarizes the history of an article and any linked publications. Clicking on the CrossMark logo in the HTML or PDF of the article provides up-to-date information on the latest article version, as well as new referee reports and any associated articles (which will be linked [threaded] together).

    Standard citation approaches are insufficient for F1000Research articles because:

    • The referee status of an article will change after publication
    • An article may have multiple versions following revision or update by the authors
    After discussion with our Advisory Board, major indexing services and others, we have adapted the traditional system of citation to include an indication of the referee status and the version of an article.

    This citation includes three additional elements, placed in square brackets, immediately after the article title (to avoid them being accidentally removed on copying):

    1. Article version number
    2. Details of the referee review status, i.e. number of ‘Approved’, ‘Approved with Reservations’, and ‘Not Approved’
    3. A shortened hyperlink to a page that shows the current referee status of the article
    Example article citation immediately on publication, before peer review:
    Ye H and Bajorath J. Monitoring drug promiscuity over time [v1; ref status: awaiting peer review,http://f1000r.es/4bh] F1000Research 2014, 3:218 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.5250.1)
    Example citation of an indexed article:
    Kim N, Acampora D, Dingli F et al. Immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry identify non-cell autonomous Otx2 homeoprotein in the granular and supragranular layers of mouse visual cortex [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/40d] F1000Research 2014, 3:178 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.4869.1)
    Example citation for a new version of an article:
    Arshad F, Adelmeijer J, Blokzijl H et al. Abnormal hemostatic function one year after orthotopic liver transplantation can be fully attributed to endothelial cell activation [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/40n] F1000Research 2014, 3:103 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.3980.2)
  • Citing a Referee Report +
    Referee reports in F1000Research are published under a CC BY license. A DOI (digital object identifier) is assigned to every referee report, so it can be cited independently from the article in the following format:
    An example referee report
    Mummery C. (2014) Referee Report For: Transient acid treatment cannot induce neonatal somatic cells to become pluripotent stem cells [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/3dq] F1000Research 2014, 3:102 (doi: 10.5256/f1000research.4382.r4727)
Why fast publication is important
63 sec
Why transparency is essential
62 sec
Why all findings should be published
53 sec
Why data should be available
75 sec
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