This code of conduct covers all community members participating in digital and physical contexts managed by PREreview such as, but not limited to, our website, Slack community, and in-person events.

Our pledge

In the interest of fostering an open and brave environment we, as leadership, contributors, and maintainers, pledge to make participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of background, family status, gender, gender identity, or expression, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, native language, age, ability, race and/or ethnicity, caste, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, geographic location, and any other dimension of diversity.

We founded PREreview because we believe scholarship should be equitable, transparent, and collaborative. We believe it is our duty as researchers at any level of our career to contribute to research evaluation in the form of peer review. PREreview provides a space for anyone, independent of their background and career level, to provide constructive feedback to preprints, to learn from and with one another, and to challenge the status quo in the interest of moving towards a more equitable and open peer review ecosystem

Our responsibilities

The PREreview team is responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior and is expected to take action in response to any instances of unacceptable behavior. Please read below for examples of expected and unacceptable behaviors.

All complaints will be reviewed and investigated and will result in a response determined by the PREreview Safety Team. The PREreview Safety Team consists of PREreview’s Director, Community Manager, Product Manager, and Lead Developer. Other staff members or community experts may be consulted on particular reports as appropriate and necessary to investigate those reports and determine any consequences.

Where and how to report Code of Conduct violations

Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior should be reported by filling out our report form with the option to be anonymous, emailing, or by messaging @safety on the PREreview Community Slack. In the report, please describe the violation of this Code of Conduct and the context in which it occurred. The more detail you provide the easier it will be for us to act on the reported misconduct.

If you email us, please use “Code of Conduct Violation Report” as your subject line. If you decide to report the violation via the form and you wish us to follow up with you, please be sure to include your email address at the end of the form.

Response protocol

In response to any Code of Conduct violation report, the PREreview Safety Team will:

  • Seek to end or mitigate as best as possible any immediate or ongoing harm in PREreview settings
  • Offer support to those harmed
  • Respond to the reporter to acknowledge receipt of the report (if the contact info of the reporter is available)
  • Meet to review the report, determine whether or not it is a CoC violation, and determine the next steps for any follow-up investigation
  • Follow up with the reporter to make sure the next steps protect the privacy and safety of anyone harmed (if the contact info of the reporter is available)
  • Conduct its investigation
  • Draft its response
  • Follow up with the reporter to inform them of the response and to make sure that how we respond as the PREreview Safety Team protects the privacy and safety of anyone harmed (if the contact info of the reporter is available)
  • Deliver and enforce the PREreview Safety Team's response in PREreview settings

Expected behaviors

Example behaviors that contribute to creating a positive environment include:

  • Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
  • Being open to different possibilities and being wrong
  • Using welcoming and inclusive language. Encourage all voices. Help new perspectives to be heard, and listen actively
  • Providing feedback that is constructive
  • Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
  • Focusing on what is best for the community
  • Showing empathy towards other community members
  • Respecting the privacy and confidentiality of everyone in the community
  • Maintaining kindness, professionalism, and integrity in all of your interactions

Be the best community member you can be

By matching your actions with your words, you become a person others want to join in the community. Your actions influence others to behave and respond in ways that are valuable and appropriate for our shared outcomes. Hold yourself and others accountable for inclusive behaviors.

Prohibited behaviors

Examples of unacceptable behaviors by participants include, but are not limited to:

  • Violence and threats of violence
  • Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
  • The use of sexualized language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or advances;
  • Public or private harassment
  • Publishing others' private information, such as a physical or electronic address, without explicit permission
  • Providing unconstructive or disruptive feedback on PREreview
  • Posting spam or irrelevant material
  • Influencing unacceptable behavior
  • Reviewing your own preprint
  • Other conduct that could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting

Competing interest

At PREreview we ask all contributors to disclose any competing interest (CI) that may exist between a review author (or affiliated organization) and the author(s) (or affiliated organization) of the reviewed preprint.

In the context of this platform, a competing interest is anything that interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the objective of a review of a preprint on PREreview.

Examples of competing interests that would be considered a violation of this Code of Conduct if not disclosed include, but are not limited to:

  • The author of the PREreview is an author of the reviewed preprint; if you are the author of the preprint you should not review your own work;
  • The author of the PREreview has a personal relationship with the author(s) of the reviewed preprint;
  • The author of the PREreview is a rival or competitor of the author(s) of the reviewed preprint;
  • The author of the PREreview has recently worked in the same institution or organization as the author(s) of the reviewed preprint;
  • The author of the PREreview is a collaborator of the author(s) of the reviewed preprint;
  • The author of the PREreview has published with the author(s) of the reviewed preprint during the last 5 years;
  • The author of the PREreview holds a grant with the author(s) of the reviewed preprint.

Competing interests matter because they can introduce perceived or actual bias in the evaluation of the preprint that can have repercussions all the way to the journal acceptance of that manuscript.

If you think that you have a potential competing interest with the authors or the organization to which the author(s) is affiliated, please do disclose it in your PREreview. A failure to disclose a competing interest is considered a violation of this Code of Conduct and will be treated accordingly.

To read more about competing interests in peer review, please refer to the PLOS Peer Reviewer Center’s resources. They provide a very useful checklist for you to self-evaluate your possible competing interests in relation to a manuscript you wish to review or comment on.

License and attribution

This Code of Conduct is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

The content of this page was adapted from the Contributor Covenant, version 1.4, from 2i2c Code of Conduct, and from Plos Peer Reviewer Center. If you have questions about this Code of Conduct, please contact us at

Thank you for being a good community member!