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in the interests of transparency, we advise researchers to emphasize in their communications that the study has not been peer reviewed and that the findings could change. We also recommend that reporters who cover such work indicate that the study is a preprint and has not been peer reviewed, a practice that we strive to follow in these pages.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….”


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.

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….”

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.

Homepage – preLights

“Welcome to preLights, the preprint highlights service run by the biological community and supported by The Company of Biologists.

What is preLights?

As the number of preprints grows, it will become increasingly difficult to find and filter relevant/interesting preprints. preLights does some of that work for you. Our dedicated team of scientists from the community select, highlight and comment on preprints they feel are of particular interest to the biological community. You’ll find a summary of each preprint, the reasons it was selected and the selector’s thoughts on its significance. You might also see relevant comments from the preprints’ authors. And we’d really welcome your thoughts and comments too.

Our regular digest of preprints means:

  • some of the hard work of sifting through the growing volume of preprints is done for you
  • you’ll see a mix of preprints across the biological sciences – which can highlight new thinking or new techniques that may be applicable to your research
  • you’ll see the comments and opinions of other researchers
  • you can comment on those that interest you….”

Self-organising peer review for preprints – A future paradigm for scholarly publishing | Impact of Social Sciences

“Preprints – rapidly published non peer reviewed research articles – are becoming an increasingly common fixture in scholarly communication. However, without being peer reviewed they serve a limited function, as they are often not recognised as high quality research publications. In this post Wang LingFeng discusses how the development of preprint servers as self-organising peer review platforms could be the future of scholarly publication….

In order to address these issues, we propose a system of self-organising peer review (SOPR), operating in accordance with 8 rules:

  1. Only corresponding authors can submit articles to the preprint server and all authors of submitted papers are automatically registered as reviewers.
  2. A registrant can submit several papers per year, but a maximum of six manuscripts will be peer reviewed.
  3. Papers are reviewed in the order in which they are submitted.
  4. After submission the author’s information is concealed before the article is posted on the server. Only after the review is finished will the identity of the author/s be revealed on the article.
  5. All papers are rated by scale of 1 to 5, with 5 indicating best quality.
  6. Each new registrant is given a reviewer qualification level, also set at 1-5. The reviewer qualification level is determined, at the first registration, by registrants’ publication and citation record such as H-index or other scientometric indicators. Each registrant’s review qualification level will be adjusted every three years.
  7. Each manuscript is reviewed by 3 registrants.
  8. A penalty mechanism for if an author or reviewer does not accept a review assignment, or does not complete review on time. Whereby, their own papers will not be reviewed and their right to use the preprint database will be suspended for a period of time….”

How big are preprints? – Adam Day – Medium

Current estimates put the total number of peer-reviewed research articles at around 100m. Growth is around 3.5–4m articles per annum and accelerating. ArXiv, the largest preprint server in the world, has published only 1.5m preprints and is currently putting out around 100k preprints per annum. ArXiv (and preprint servers generally) are accelerating too, but there’s still a lot of catching up to be done….”