Abstract: Contemporary scholarly discourse follows many alternative routes in addition to the three-century old tradition of publication in peer-reviewed journals. The field of High- Energy Physics (HEP) has explored alternative communication strategies for decades, initially via the mass mailing of paper copies of preliminary manuscripts, then via the inception of the first online repositories and digital libraries.
This field is uniquely placed to answer recurrent questions raised by the current trends in scholarly communication: is there an advantage for scientists to make their work available through repositories, often in preliminary form? Is there an advantage to publishing in Open Access journals? Do scientists still read journals or do they use digital repositories?
The analysis of citation data demonstrates that free and immediate online dissemination of preprints creates an immense citation advantage in HEP, whereas publication in Open Access journals presents no discernible advantage. In addition, the analysis of clickstreams in the leading digital library of the field shows that HEP scientists seldom read journals, preferring preprints instead.
“This week, six communities launched preprint services to accelerate dissemination of research. INA-Rxiv, the preprint server of Indonesia; LISSA, an open scholarly platform for library and information science; MindRxiv, a service for research on mind and contemplative practices; NutriXiv, a preprint service for the nutritional sciences; paleorXiv, a digital archive for Paleontology; and SportRxiv, an open archive for sport and exercise-related research….These new services join AgriXiv (agriculture), BITSS (research methodology), engrXiv (Engineering), LawArXiv (law), PsyArXiv (psychology), SocArXiv (social sciences), Thesis Commons (theses and dissertations), and OSF Preprints (any discipline) in using the free, open-source Open Science Framework (OSF)….The operators of these 14 preprint services illustrate the global growth and diversity of stakeholders invested in accelerating research. Some of the services are operated by scientific societies (e.g., PsyArXiv), some are operated by research funders (e.g., MindRxiv), some are operated by libraries and library societies (e.g., LawArXiv), and some are operated by grassroots communities of researchers (e.g., SportRxiv, NutriXiv). All groups are increasing the accessibility and impact of the research done in their community….In addition to hosting preprint services, OSF uses SHARE to aggregate and index over two million search results from preprint providers hosted on other platforms such as arXiv, bioRXiv, and PeerJ….”
“The Center for Open Science (COS) has announced today that six new preprint services have launched using COS’ preprints platform, taking the number of such services to 14.
The announcement comes at a time when we are seeing a rising tide of preprint servers being launched, both by for-profit and non-profit organisations – a development all the more remarkable given scholarly publishers’ historic opposition to preprint servers. Indeed, so antagonistic to such services have publishers been that until recently they were often able to stop them in their tracks. “
“Now that preprint servers are picking up speed, let’s talk about postprint servers. Sure, we have plenty of places to place and find discussions about the content of articles (e.g. PubPeer, PubMed Commons, …), and sure we have retractions and corrections.
But what if we could just make revisions of articles?
And I’m not only talking about typo-fixes, but also clarifications that show up during post-publication peer-review. Not about full revisions; if a paper is wrong, then this is not the method of choice. They should happen frequently either, but sometimes it is just convenient. Maybe to fix broken website URLs?
One point is, ResearchGate, Academia, Mendeley, and the likes allow you to host versions, but we need to track the fixes and versioned DOIs. That metadata is essential: it is the FAIRness of the post-publication life time of a publication….”
As an entity, whilst preprints have been around for some time, there have been a number of significant developments over the last few years. In this short talk, Graham will take you through a journey in time, touching upon the history, developments and what the future may hold in terms of preprints.
“I believe open access is the way to do right by one’s research and maintain the integrity of the work, as much as we’re doing right by society at large through our research. We need to also empower early-career academics to know exactly what control they have over their own work, and what can be done with it, and in making a principled decision about access to their research. These decisions need to be considered at the beginning of the research process already and not just at the end. Just as with any new mode of practice, open access has a learning curve that requires deliberate and purposeful practice, but pays off very quickly in terms of citations, research impact, and social impact. So the next time you have a paper waiting to be written, look up the open access options in your discipline. In the meanwhile, make sure to find the preprint copies of all your published papers and deposit them in your institutional repository.”
“There’s a vast trove of science out there locked inside the PDF format. From preprints to peer-reviewed literature and historical research, millions of scientific manuscripts today can only be found in a print-era format that is effectively inaccessible to the web of interconnected online services and APIs that are increasingly becoming the digital scaffold of today’s research infrastructure….Extracting key information from PDF files isn’t trivial. …It would therefore certainly be useful to be able to extract all key data from manuscript PDFs and store it in a more accessible, more reusable format such as XML (of the publishing industry standard JATS variety or otherwise). This would allow for the flexible conversion of the original manuscript into different forms, from mobile-friendly layouts to enhanced views like eLife’s side-by-side view (through eLife Lens). It will also make the research mineable and API-accessible to any number of tools, services and applications. From advanced search tools to the contextual presentation of semantic tags based on users’ interests, and from cross-domain mash-ups showing correlations between different papers to novel applications like ScienceFair, a move away from PDF and toward a more open and flexible format like XML would unlock a multitude of use cases for the discovery and reuse of existing research….We are embarking on a project to build on these existing open-source tools, and to improve the accuracy of the XML output. One aim of the project is to combine some of the existing tools in a modular PDF-to-XML conversion pipeline that achieves a better overall conversion result compared to using individual tools on their own. In addition, we are experimenting with a different approach to the problem: using computer vision to identify key components of the scientific manuscript in PDF format….To this end, we will be collaborating with other publishers to collate a broad corpus of valid PDF/XML pairs to help train and test our neural networks….”
“The American Psychological Association, the nonprofit publisher of 90 psychology journals, has entered a partnership with the Center for Open Science to offer open science badges to authors, create an APA data repository to ease sharing and designate a preferred preprint server for APA journal articles.”
Abstract: Chemistry is the last natural science discipline to embrace prepublishing, namely the publication of non-peer reviewed scientific articles on the internet. After a brief insight into the origins and the purpose of prepublishing in science, we conduct a concrete analysis of the concrete situation, aiming at providing an answer to several questions. Why the chemistry community has been late in embracing prepublishing? Is this in relation with the slow acceptance of open access publishing by the same community? Will prepublishing become a common habit also for chemistry scholars?