Nature Announces Support for Preprint Papers, Drops Ingelfinger Rule

Good news! On May 15, the Springer group of journals – including Nature – announced that it now encourages scientists to share preprint copies of their papers with journalists and others and that doing so wouldn’t affect how the paper is handled by the journal itself. The announcement thus brings Nature‘s adoption of a 50-year-old principle called the Ingelfinger rule to a close….”

Springer Nature journals unify their policy to encourage preprint sharing

“For more than two decades, Nature and its sister journals have supported pre-publication sharing of manuscripts on preprint servers. Nature’s first editorial on this goes back to 1997 — although, back then, the practice was common only among physicists. By making early research findings accessible quickly and easily, preprints allow researchers to claim priority of discovery, receive community input and demonstrate evidence of progress for funders and others.

Recognizing these benefits, we are now pleased to announce an updated policy encouraging preprint sharing for Springer Nature journals. This intends to remove ambiguity on two important points. First, we now make it clear that authors may choose any licence for preprints, including Creative Commons licences. Licensing choice will not impede consideration at a Springer Nature journal, but authors should bear in mind that it could affect sharing, adaptation and reuse of the preprint itself.

Second, the updated policy provides more information about our position on author engagement with the media in response to enquiries about preprints. Authors are free to provide clarification and context, and this will not affect editorial consideration. However, in the interests of transparency, we advise researchers to emphasize in their communications that the study has not been peer reviewed and that the findings could change. We also recommend that reporters who cover such work indicate that the study is a preprint and has not been peer reviewed, a practice that we strive to follow in these pages. Finally, we stand by our policy supporting citation of preprints in reference lists of submitted and published manuscripts….”


Is there a place for a Subscription Journal in an Open Access world?

“At the Annual Meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) in San Diego later this month [30 May, 2 p.m.] I will assert that yes, a subscription journal can continue its subscription business-model while effectively accelerating the transition of their discipline to Open Access—but only in the right circumstances, and only if a publisher adopts what I call “Maximum Dissemination” of the authors’ work, including elimination of its paywall….

Accepting an author’s final accepted manuscript (post peer-review) is the ideal point at which the publisher could take on the mantle of providing maximum dissemination of the author’s work.

Imagine at that point that a publisher informs the author as follows:


  • Congratulations. Your article “xxxxx” has now passed peer-review and has been accepted for publication in the Journal of yyy.
  • Part of our commitment to you is that we will seek maximum dissemination of your work, both the published version that we will now be preparing and your Author’s Accepted Manuscript (post peer-review) for those who do not yet subscribe to the Journal of yyy.
  • Upon publication of our published version we will archive your accepted manuscript in an Open Repository that meets all the requirements of sustainable accessibility. If you have a preference for which Open Repository, you’d like it submitted to, please check the appropriate box(s) below:
  • {The author’s home institution Institutional Repository}
  • {An Open Repository used by many in this particular discipline.}
  • {A National Repository used by scholars in the scholar’s home country.}
  • {etc.}…”

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….”

Ten Hot Topics around Scholarly Publishing

Abstract:  The changing world of scholarly communication and the emerging new wave of ‘Open Science’ or ‘Open Research’ has brought to light a number of controversial and hotly debated topics. Evidence-based rational debate is regularly drowned out by misinformed or exaggerated rhetoric, which does not benefit the evolving system of scholarly communication. This article aims to provide a baseline evidence framework for ten of the most contested topics, in order to help frame and move forward discussions, practices, and policies. We address issues around preprints and scooping, the practice of copyright transfer, the function of peer review, predatory publishers, and the legitimacy of ‘global’ databases. These arguments and data will be a powerful tool against misinformation across wider academic research, policy and practice, and will inform changes within the rapidly evolving scholarly publishing system.

Open access availability of Catalonia research output: Case analysis of the CERCA institution, 2011-2015

Abstract:  The open access availability of publications by Catalonia’s CERCA research centres was analysed to determine the extent to which authors use open access journals, repositories, social networks and other websites to disseminate their research results. A sample of 3,730 journal articles published by authors from CERCA research centres between 2011 and 2015 and available on Web of Science (out of a total output of 44,423) was analysed to identify how many were available in open access, full-text format. The results revealed that 75,8% of the total (2,828 articles) had at least one version available in open access, but just 52% (1,940 articles) had at least one version available in either journals (whether pure or hybrid open access journals or those with embargo periods) or repositories, a finding that highlights the powerful role played by academic social networks in the sharp increase in open access availability. Of the 2,828 articles for which at least one open access version was found, a total of 9,868 copies were located. With respect to versions, the publisher’s final version, i.e. the type formatted for publication by journal publishers, was found in 75,3% of cases. The number of articles published in open access journals (567) was very close to the number of articles published in hybrid journals or journals with embargo periods (624). Only 40,4% of the articles in the sample were located in repositories, being the subject repositories the heaviest used. Fifty percent of the articles (1,881 publications) were posted on academic social networks, the most popular of which were ResearchGate and Academia. According to thematic areas, all six areas (science, life sciences, medical and health sciences, engineering and architecture and humanities) exceeded 70% of articles in open access.

Daunting Problems and Thrilling Promises | MIT Libraries News

“Several years ago I moved to help fill a void I saw in sociology— a need for greater openness and transparency in research practices and publications—something that many scientists in other disciplines were moving to embrace. I founded SocArXiv, an open social science archive for research papers, modeled after arXiv in math and physics and bioRxiv in life sciences. Working with the Center for Open Science and a steering committee of sociologists and librarians (including Chris Bourg), we started accepting papers in 2016, and now host more than 3,000. The work is free to share and read, with links to research materials, and proper archiving and tagging, so it’s accessible and discoverable by anyone.

Since 2016, I’ve had lots of work to do to help build an equitable, open, and durable system of knowledge communication, and it’s work I love. Thanks to the leadership of Chris Bourg, support from a group of libraries from the Association of Research Libraries, and a sabbatical leave from Maryland, in 2018 I had the opportunity to extend that work at MIT’s new Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (CREOS) as its first visiting scholar….”

Open+: Versioning Open Social Scholarship

Abstract:  Advocates of the Open Access (OA) movement have been fighting for free and unfettered access to research output since the early 1990s. Open access is a crucial element of a fair, efficient scholarly communication system where all are able to find, interpret, and use the results of publicly-funded research. Universal open access is more possible now than ever before, thanks to networked technologies and the development of open scholarship policies. But what happens after access to research is provided? In this paper I argue that versioning scholarship across varying modes and formats would move scholarly communication from a straightforward open access system to a more engaging environment for multiple communities.

arXiv and the Symbiosis of Physics Preprints and Journal Review Articles: A Model

Abstract:  This paper recommends a publishing model that can help achieve the goal of reforming physics publishing. It distinguishes two complementary needs in scholarly communication. Preprints, increasingly important in science, are properly the vehicle for claiming priority of discovery and for eliciting feedback that will help with versioning. Traditional journal publishing, however, should focus on providing synthesis in the form of overlay journals that play the same role as review articles.

Better than the German Wiley DEAL? The Couperin Consortium reaches a price reduction of more than 13% over four years in an agreement with Elsevier » scidecode

For some, this may seem better than the Wiley Deal in Germany: French universities and research institutions have agreed in principle, through their Couperin consortium, to renew their national licence with Elsevier. In a letter sent on April 11 to Elsevier by Lise Dumasy, president of Couperin, details of the agreement, which is valid for 4 years, effective as of January 1 this year, are revealed.

With this agreement, French universities and research institutions will have access to the publisher’s „Freedom complete edition“ journal bundle including e.g. The Lancet and Cell Press. However, the consortium does not guarantee to the publisher that all its members will adhere to the national licence….

Here are the main points:

  • Most surprising: This agreement provides for a gradual 13.3% reduction in license costs over 4 years -5% in 2019, -4% in 2020, -3% in 2021 and -2% in 2022, in total -13.305% over four years.
  • There is 25% discount on article processing charges (APC). There will also be a compensatory clause if these APCs increase by more than 3.5%. Excluded from this discount are – as I understand it – only the society journals, e.g. The Lancet and the Cell Press titles. Included are all Open Access journals and hybrid journals. The 3.5% threshold refers to annual price increases.
  • Regarding Green Open Access the agreement allows automatic access 12 months after formal publication to the „accepted author manuscript“ (AAM) or post print directly on Elsevier’s service Sciencedirect. After 24 months the pdf file of this manuscript will be deposited on the HAL platform (the CNRS Open Access Repository). The license to make AAMs available is more restrictive than most Creative Commons licenses. It allows reading, downloading, printing, translating, text & data mining but does not allow redistribution or re-use (neither commercial or non-commercial)….”