Preprints in the Public Eye – ASAPbio

“Today, we’re pleased to announce the launch of a project on the use of preprints in the media with support from the Open Society Foundations. 

Premature media coverage was the top concern about preprints in our recent #biopreprints2020 survey, for both those who had published their research as preprints and for those who had not….

ASAPbio, with support from the Open Society Foundations, now aims to consolidate and expand on existing efforts to set best practice standards for preprints via the launch of our Preprints in the Public Eye project. We are calling for involvement from researchers, journalists, institutions, librarians, funding agencies, and more to work on the following three main aims or the project:

To improve the transparency and clarity of how preprints are labelled so that readers understand what checks have and have not been made on a preprint.
To agree a set of best practice guidelines for researchers and institutions on how to work with journalists on research reported as preprints.
To agree a set of best practice guidelines for journalists on how to assess and report on research posted as preprints….”

Join the #PreprintReviewChallenge – ASAPbio

“On September 22 ASAPbio is hosting the #PreprintReviewChallenge as part of Peer Review Week 2020. In a live session hosted online, we will get together to write constructive comments and reviews on preprints, with the aim to develop the largest collection to date of public commentary on preprinted research in a single day. PREReview, preLights, Peer Community In and Pubpeer will be joining us to interact with those interested in posting to those platforms; we will also have Maurine Neiman, editor at Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B and Thomas Lemberger from EMBO, who will provide tips and advice on the review of papers.

The session will include:

Session overview 
Editorial tips on how to write constructive reviews
Review preprints! – Work on preprint reviews and comments, interaction with preprint review platform reps
Group discussion to review tally of comments and reviews, and share feedback….”

Register for ASAPbio’s #PreprintReviewChallenge – September 22

“As part of Peer Review Week 2020, ASAPbio will be hosting a live preprint review-a-thon. This session (1.5 h) will take place on September 22. We invite you to join us to set an all-time record for the most preprint reviews and comments in a single day.

Commentary and reviews on preprints provide authors with feedback to improve their work as well as valuable additional context to help readers interpret the findings. In alignment with Peer Review Week’s theme on Trust, we aim to support trust in preprints by encouraging constructive comments and reviews on preprints.

You are welcome to join even if you haven’t previously reviewed a paper. You will have an opportunity to learn a bit more about writing comments and reviews, share experiences, the flexibility to comment on a full paper or only elements of it, use a variety of tools and platforms, and to work alone or join a structured group.

Please fill out the form below to register for the event and tell us a bit more about your preferences for the session. …”

Preprint info center – ASAPbio

“A preprint is a complete scientific manuscript that is uploaded by the authors to a public server.  The preprint contains complete data and methodologies; it is often the same manuscript being submitted to a journal (see FAQ on submitting preprints).  After a brief quality-control inspection to ensure that the work is scientific in nature, the author’s manuscript is posted within a day or so on the Web without peer review and can be viewed without charge by anyone in the world. Based upon feedback and/or new data, new versions of your preprint can be submitted; however, prior preprint versions are also retained.  Preprint servers allow scientists to directly control the dissemination of their work to the world-wide scientific community. In most cases, the same work posted as preprint also is submitted for peer review at a journal.  Thus, preprints (rapid, but not validated through peer-review) and journal publication (slow, but providing validation using peer-review) work in parallel as a communication system for scientific research….”


ripeta – responsible science

“Ripeta is a credit review for scientific publications. Similar to a financial credit report, which reviews the fiscal health of a person, Ripeta assesses the responsible reporting of the scientific paper. The Ripeta suite identifies and extracts the key components of research reporting, thus drastically shortening and improving the publication process; furthermore, Ripeta’s ability to extract data makes these pieces of text easily discoverable for future use….

Researchers: Rapidly check your pre-print manuscripts to improve the transparency of reporting your research.

Publishers: Improve the reproducibility of the articles you publish with an automated tool that helps evidence-based science.

Funders: Evaluate your portfolio by checking your manuscripts for robust scientific reporting.”

How to Boost the Impact of Scientific Conferences: Cell

“We can maximize the impact of scientific conferences by uploading all conference presentations, posters, and abstracts to highly trafficked public repositories for each content type. Talks can be hosted on sites like YouTube and Youku, posters can be published on Figshare, and papers and abstracts can become open access preprints.”



Balancing Scientific Rigor With Urgency in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic | Open Forum Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic

“In the midst of the worst pandemic in a century, the medical community must contend with an unprecedented deluge of scientific information. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has stretched the capacity of journals to ensure rapid dissemination of studies to inform the response to the pandemic while maintaining quality standards. At the same time, the ecosystem of knowledge dissemination is changing, with the rise of nonpeer-reviewed pathways, including the use of preprint servers and the apparent trend of publication by press release. We argue that peer-reviewed journals are more critical than ever, and that it is imperative that journals not abandon principles of scientific rigor in favor of urgency….”

Women’s journal submission rates continue to fall

““We are seeing some recent improvements, though I worry that those will drop precipitously as the semester begins,” Cassidy Sugimoto, professor of informatics at Indiana University at Bloomington and a co-author of an ongoing study of article submissions to preprint databases, said as her own two daughters did their remote schoolwork in the next room. “Issues such as disproportionate teaching and service obligations, coupled with the move to online schooling for children, are likely to take a toll on women in the upcoming year.”

Sugimoto and her co-authors published their initial COVID-19-era preprint analysis in Nature Index in May.

“We are all in the same storm, but not in the same boat,” they wrote at the time. “The scientific workforce has moved en masse into the home, where male faculty are four times more likely to have a partner engaged in full domestic care than their female colleagues.”

That analysis looked at submissions to 11 preprint repositories, which are indicative of overall research activity, and three platforms for registered reports, which are indicative of new projects. Sugimoto and her colleagues found that women submitted fewer articles in March and April 2020 compared to the preceding two months and to March and April 2019. Submissions by women as first, or primary, authors — often junior scholars — were especially down, with some indication that they were shifting to middle authors.

EarthArXiv, medRxiv, SocArXiv and National Bureau of Economic Research working papers saw the biggest declines in female authorship. In arXiv and bioRxiv, female authorship had been increasing in January and February 2020 but then dropped as COVID-19 spread, to match rates in earlier years.

Female first-author submissions to medRxiv, a medical preprint site, dropped from 36 percent in December to 20 percent in April, for example. In addition to potentially harming the careers of the junior scholars who often take on first-author roles, Sugimoto and her colleagues wrote that the medical first-authorship gap has public health implications. Why? If much of the current medical research is on COVID-19, and if “women and other minorities are absent,” it may “alter the emphasis on aspects of the virus that are particularly important for certain populations.” Indeed, other researchers have found that COVID-19-related papers in medicine and economics have fewer female authors than expected. In economics in particular, it is senior, male academics who are publishing on these new issues.

Sugimoto and her colleagues continue to track preprint submission rates for women. The most recent available data, from June and July, show some normalization of women’s submission rates. Regarding medRxiv, for instance, female first authorship dropped to about 16 percent in April. It has been climbing back toward the year average of about 31 percent since. Some areas have yet to improve, though. Female first-author submissions to NBER, for economics research, were still around 11 percent in June, compared to about 18 percent in June 2019 and the 16 percent year average. 

Sugimoto and her colleagues have argued that the clearest way to track women’s productivity rates is via preprints, as these prepublished papers reveal what academics are submitting, not just what is getting green-lit after the formal peer-review process. Other researchers have said the same, with similar findings. Some individual journal editors similarly concerned about gender equity in publishing during COVID-19 also have shared their own submission data and analyses….”

Open and Reproducible Research Group (ORRG)

“Open Science is better science. Research benefits from sharing data and scientific knowledge which is publicly available, making open science essential. The Open and Reproducible Research Group (ORRG) uses evidence-based and computational approaches to make research cultures more open, transparent and participatory through new practices and technologies. In our interdisciplinary team we combine competences in philosophy, sociology, and information science with computer science and life science. We research services, policies, and tools to investigate and foster the uptake and evaluation of Open Science practices in the following areas: …”