Open Peer Review: a Model & an Invitation (2019 update) | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs

This is a 2019 update of a post originally published in 2005 on The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics; the original is republished here. This version reflects experience with open peer review (mine and that of others), further reflection, and research conducted since 2005.

These are some ideas for open peer review that can be used today in experiments that may be helpful to shape future systemic approaches. The overall goal is to facilitate open research by opening up preprints, increase transparency in the peer review process, and to allow peer reviewers to take credit for their work. Interested authors and/or reviewers can experiment with this approach today. For example, an author can post a preprint in a repository, seek volunteer reviewers through a listserv or other social media service for a relevant scholarly community and/or ask a colleague to serve as an editor to coordinate the review process and/or serve as a contact for blind reviews….”

Releasing a preprint is associated with more attention and citations | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Preprints in the life sciences are gaining popularity, but release of a preprint still precedes only a fraction of peer-reviewed publications. Quantitative evidence on the relationship between preprints and article-level metrics of peer-reviewed research remains limited. We examined whether having a preprint on bioRxiv.org was associated with the Altmetric Attention Score and number of citations of the corresponding peer-reviewed article. We integrated data from PubMed, CrossRef, Altmetric, and Rxivist (a collection of bioRxiv metadata). For each of 26 journals (comprising a total of 46,451 articles and 3,817 preprints), we used log-linear regression, adjusted for publication date and scientific subfield, to estimate fold-changes of Attention Score and citations between articles with and without a preprint. We also performed meta-regression of the fold-changes on journal-level characteristics. By random effects meta-analysis across journals, releasing a preprint was associated with a 1.53 times higher Attention Score + 1 (95% CI 1.42 to 1.65) and 1.31 times more citations + 1 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.38) of the peer-reviewed article. Journals with larger fold-changes of Attention Score tended to have lower impact factors and lower percentages of articles released as preprints. In contrast, a journal’s fold-change of citations was not associated with impact factor, percentage of articles released as preprints, or access model. The findings from this observational study can help researchers and publishers make informed decisions about how to incorporate preprints into their work.

New CMAJ and CMAJ Open policy permitting preprints | CMAJ

The launch of the latest preprint server, MEDRxiv, specifically targeted at the clinical research community, is a sign of growing interest in preprints among health researchers. Preprints are scholarly papers that are posted by authors in an openly accessible platform, usually before submission to a journal for formal publication.1 There are now about 45 preprint servers in operation across academic disciplines, and the number of articles being posted is growing rapidly. In response to this trend, we have developed a policy on preprints that permits papers deposited in a preprint server to be considered for publication in CMAJ and CMAJ Open.

For researchers, preprints facilitate early and rapid dissemination of their work among the research community, which provides an opportunity for them to receive feedback from a wide audience that may improve the draft paper before journal submission. Preprints may help authors to establish precedence for a research finding or find potential collaborators for future work.1,2

More broadly, preprints may help reduce research waste and publication bias.2 Even good studies may have difficulty getting published at times because of negative results or limited generalizability. Preprint servers can facilitate dissemination of these study findings among the research community. And researchers can check whether there is recent research in an area they are considering exploring, which could reduce the likelihood of duplicative studies….”

A conceptual peer review model for arXiv and other preprint databases – Wang – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  A global survey conducted by arXiv in 2016 showed that 58% of arXiv users thought arXiv should have a peer review system. The current opinion is that arXiv should adopt the Community Peer Review model. This paper evaluates and identifies two weak points of Community Peer Review and proposes a new peer review model – Self?Organizing Peer Review. We propose a model in which automated methods of matching reviewers to articles and ranking both users and articles can be implemented. In addition, we suggest a strategic plan to increase recognition of articles in preprint databases within academic circles so that second generation preprint databases can achieve faster and cheaper publication.

Peter Suber: The largest obstacles to open access are unfamiliarity and misunderstanding of open access itself

I’ve already complained about the slowness of progress. So I can’t pretend to be patient. Nevertheless, we need patience to avoid mistaking slow progress for lack of progress, and I’m sorry to see some friends and allies make this mistake. We need impatience to accelerate progress, and patience to put slow progress in perspective. The rate of OA growth is fast relative to the obstacles, and slow relative to the opportunities.”

Peter Suber: The largest obstacles to open access are unfamiliarity and misunderstanding of open access itself

I’ve already complained about the slowness of progress. So I can’t pretend to be patient. Nevertheless, we need patience to avoid mistaking slow progress for lack of progress, and I’m sorry to see some friends and allies make this mistake. We need impatience to accelerate progress, and patience to put slow progress in perspective. The rate of OA growth is fast relative to the obstacles, and slow relative to the opportunities.”

medRxiv.org – the preprint server for Health Sciences

“medRxiv (pronounced “med-archive”) is a free online archive and distribution server for complete but unpublished manuscripts (preprints) in the medical, clinical, and related health sciences. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

medRxiv was founded by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), a not-for-profit research and educational institution, Yale University, and BMJ, a global healthcare knowledge provider. The server is owned and operated by CSHL. medRxiv provides a platform for researchers to share, comment, and receive feedback on their work prior to journal publication. medRxiv aims to improve the openness and accessibility of scientific findings, enhance collaboration among researchers, document provenance of ideas, and inform ongoing and planned research through more timely reporting of completed research. medRxiv is a non-profit community resource and is not linked to any one publisher or journal….”

medRxiv.org – the preprint server for Health Sciences

“medRxiv (pronounced “med-archive”) is a free online archive and distribution server for complete but unpublished manuscripts (preprints) in the medical, clinical, and related health sciences. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

medRxiv was founded by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), a not-for-profit research and educational institution, Yale University, and BMJ, a global healthcare knowledge provider. The server is owned and operated by CSHL. medRxiv provides a platform for researchers to share, comment, and receive feedback on their work prior to journal publication. medRxiv aims to improve the openness and accessibility of scientific findings, enhance collaboration among researchers, document provenance of ideas, and inform ongoing and planned research through more timely reporting of completed research. medRxiv is a non-profit community resource and is not linked to any one publisher or journal….”