Unravelling the mysteries of preprints and peer review

A new online database that provides quick access to the editorial policies of about 2,900 scientific journals aims to dispel much of the mystery and uncertainty in scientific publishing. The Transpose database, which launched on 13 June, was compiled by a mostly US-based group of researchers working towards reforming publishing. The database includes details about peer review, preprints and editorial policies that are often difficult or impossible to find on journal websites, says Jessica Polka, a Transpose team member and a cell biologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts….”

Launching Transpose, a database of journal policies on preprinting & peer review – ASAPbio

“Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Transpose (@TransposeSCI), a database of journal peer review, co-reviewing, and preprint policies relating to media coverage, licensing, versions, and citation.

These policies can often be difficult to find, unclear, or undefined. Our hope is to bring them to light so that authors, readers, reviewers, and other stakeholders can more easily find journals that align with their values. At the same time, editors can use this resource to draw inspiration from changing practices at other journals. (Read more user stories here.)

In addition to searching for individual journals, users can select up to three journals to compare side-by-side. For instance, when planning when to preprint, researchers may wish to look up the preprint policies for up to three journals they’re likely to submit to and check which are supportive of preprints and any conditions attached to this….”

2nd HIRMEOS Webinar: A Peer-review Certification System for Open Access Books – Hirmeos Project

The webinar is aimed at presenting the peer-review certification service developed in the course of the HIRMEOS project.

Peer-review has a critical importance in scholarly communication, but both its practices and understanding exhibit a great deal of opacity. This is especially true for the peer review processes concerning open access monographs.

The HIRMEOS Open Book Peer-Review Certification service is a response to the increasing need for transparency and a better understanding of book peer review processes. The certification system, developed in collaboration with the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), provides a convenient way to reassure authors and evaluation agencies about the scientific quality of Open Access books. In the webinar, we are going to introduce this service to different communities by bringing together the perspectives of scholars, publishers, developers and librarians. …”

Interview with Michael Markie, Director of Publishing at F1000 | Eurodoc

In this interview, Michael Markie, Director of Publishing at F1000, will discuss a new concept for an open publishing platform that aims to facilitate faster, more efficient publishing, as well as making the whole publication process more transparent through Open Data and Open Peer Review….”

Developing a research data policy framework for all journals and publishers

Abstract:  More journals and publishers – and funding agencies and institutions – are introducing research data policies. But as the prevalence of policies increases, there is potential to confuse researchers and support staff with numerous or conflicting policy requirements. We define and describe 14 features of journal research data policies and arrange these into a set of six standard policy types or tiers, which can be adopted by journals and publishers to promote data sharing in a way that encourages good practice and is appropriate for their audience’s perceived needs. Policy features include coverage of topics such as data citation, data repositories, data availability statements, data standards and formats, and peer review of research data. These policy features and types have been created by reviewing the policies of multiple scholarly publishers, which collectively publish more than 10,000 journals, and through discussions and consensus building with multiple stakeholders in research data policy via the Data Policy Standardisation and Implementation Interest Group of the Research Data Alliance. Implementation guidelines for the standard research data policies for journals and publishers are also provided, along with template policy texts which can be implemented by journals in their Information for Authors and publishing workflows. We conclude with a call for collaboration across the scholarly publishing and wider research community to drive further implementation and adoption of consistent research data policies.

The Astonishing Mess of Academic Publishing | AIER

Scholarly publishing is a world of maddening inefficiencies. It’s also an unavoidable part of scientific discussion, and it remains one of the only features of academic life that offers some semblance of a meritocratic measure of a scholar’s contributions to the field. “Publish or perish,” as the adage goes, and publishing means dealing with publishers.

Yet every step of the typical academic publication process is fraught with practices that would quickly drive away the customer base of almost any other industry….”

How to bring preprints to the charged field of medicine

“The founders of the popular biology preprint server bioRxiv have launched a repository on which medical scientists can share their results before peer review.

BioRxiv’s success prompted some clinical scientists to push for such a site because the biology repository accepts preprints in only certain fields of medical science. But some researchers are concerned that releasing unvetted clinical research could be risky, if patients or doctors act on what could end up being inaccurate information.

The organizations behind the new server, named medRxiv, have been working on the project since 2017 and say they have built in safeguards to address those concerns….”

The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance

“This is the Pubpub site for The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance by Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick. It was used for open peer review through May 1, 2019….

Data should be open. The source data that represents the evidenciary basis for this book is freely available from the library of one of my home institutions. 

Knowledge should be free. Upon publication, this book will be available in traditional forms (physical book and e-copy), but it will also be a free, downloadable, open access PDF. Open Access is about democratizing dissemination.

Free knowledge should be well-informed. This project has been through peer review @MITPress, and has benefitted from input from dozens of other readers. Open Peer Review is an opportunity to hear from an even broader range of voices. In other words, Open Peer Review goes some way toward democratizing knowledge production….

I am considering launching a “living version” of this book after it is published in fixed physical and digital form (as bound book or static PDF). What would happen if subsequent technological developments, theoretical insights, random heckling, and informed critique could be concentrated around the body of the text itself? What if the online version of the manuscript is opened to user contributions of video, datasets, supporting and contradicting evidence, Github links, source-files for 3D printed drones, and the like.

What does the future of publishing look like? I’m not sure, but am happy to be part of an experiment along the way….”

Short statement from the SG of AAU on Open Access to all HEIs on the continent | Association of African Universities


* In hiring, promotion, and tenure, the university will give due weight to all peer-reviewed publications, regardless of price or medium.

* faculty who publish articles must either (1) retain copyright and transfer only the right of first print and electronic publication, or (2) transfer copyright but retain the right of postprint archiving.

* Adopt policies encouraging or requiring faculty to fill the institutional archive with their research articles and preprints

* all theses and dissertations, upon acceptance, must be made openly accessible, for example, through the institutional repository or one of the multi-institutional OA archives for theses and dissertations.

* all conferences hosted at your university will provide open access to their presentations or proceedings, even if the conference also chooses to publish them in a priced journal or book. This is compatible with charging a registration fee for the conference.

* all journals hosted or published by your university will either be OA or take steps to be friendlier to OA. For example, see the list of what journals can do….”

Do Preprints Require More Rigorous Screening? | The Scientist Magazine®

“Two weeks ago, a tweet storm erupted over what scientists normally consider a noble effort: the posting of a preprint to bioRxiv. The article originally went online in March, but in July, a reader noticed something missing in the draft—the methods. “As such it is not possible to critically evaluate the manuscript,” the anonymous commenter Preprint Now noted on bioRxiv.

Shortly after, the tweets arrived. “Preprints without methods are ads not scientific manuscripts and should be treated as such,” Michael Eisen, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, tweeted….”