Why Should Researchers Publish Open Access Papers Related to COVID-19? – Enago Academy

“Since the start of the pandemic, a substantial amount of literature related to COVID-19 is already available as open access and more publishers are adopting open access policies to disseminate authentic and trustworthy scientific information. This worldwide barrier-free visibility has helped academics with more citations for their work. This demonstrably also leads to increase in newer advances in COVID-19 related research.

In this article, we will provide an overview on why researchers should make their COVID-19 research papers open access and also discuss the implications of this paradigm shift on academic research….”

Preprints in perioperative medicine: immediacy for the greater good – British Journal of Anaesthesia

Abstract:  Medical and scientific journals spread developing knowledge by facilitating communication between physicians and scientists. Authors, readers, and the public rightfully expect rapid publication of rigorously reviewed high-quality papers. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of rapid dissemination and has put unprecedented demands on journals. There is genuine urgency to complete medical research and place the findings expeditiously into the public domain after expert peer review so that new findings can be used to improve patient care as soon as possible. The process of peer review is often a slow process, but is essential to ensure that changes in patient care are informed by careful and definitive research. Thus, journal editors must balance the potentially competing goals of immediacy and quality control.


Now Is Not The Time For Publishers to Go After Online Libraries: Hachette Book Group, Inc. v. Internet Archive – The Temple 10-Q

“Nothing better promotes the progress of science and the arts than access to knowledge, especially during a global pandemic. COVID-19 has highlighted how our society has changed in the past few decades and how much it needs to change in the decades to come. As schools and workplaces, law firms included, went partially or completely remote, connectivity and access to online resources became more important than ever. It is in this environment that several publishers chose to bring litigation against Internet Archive (IA) in Hachette Book Group, Inc. v. Internet Archive. 

Open Library is a non-profit digital library founded by IA that offers online access to more than 1.3 million books that it has digitized into a PDF format. Operating under the Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) model, Open Library lends out only as many books as it has physical hardcopies of. Essentially, the basis of CDL is that a book must be owned to be loaned.  …”

The evolving role of preprints in the dissemination of COVID-19 research and their impact on the science communication landscape

Abstract:  The world continues to face a life-threatening viral pandemic. The virus underlying the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused over 98 million confirmed cases and 2.2 million deaths since January 2020. Although the most recent respiratory viral pandemic swept the globe only a decade ago, the way science operates and responds to current events has experienced a cultural shift in the interim. The scientific community has responded rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing over 125,000 COVID-19–related scientific articles within 10 months of the first confirmed case, of which more than 30,000 were hosted by preprint servers. We focused our analysis on bioRxiv and medRxiv, 2 growing preprint servers for biomedical research, investigating the attributes of COVID-19 preprints, their access and usage rates, as well as characteristics of their propagation on online platforms. Our data provide evidence for increased scientific and public engagement with preprints related to COVID-19 (COVID-19 preprints are accessed more, cited more, and shared more on various online platforms than non-COVID-19 preprints), as well as changes in the use of preprints by journalists and policymakers. We also find evidence for changes in preprinting and publishing behaviour: COVID-19 preprints are shorter and reviewed faster. Our results highlight the unprecedented role of preprints and preprint servers in the dissemination of COVID-19 science and the impact of the pandemic on the scientific communication landscape.




Has Covid-19 changed researcher behaviour? | News | Wellcome

“On 31 January 2020, Wellcome published a statement calling on researchers, journals and funders to ‘share interim and final research data relating to the outbreak… as rapidly and widely as possible’.   

This statement has now been signed by more than 150 organisations including publishers, scientific institutions and preprint repositories.  

Signing a statement is one thing, acting on it something else. Has the research community done enough to share their data openly and transparently? And will these commitments lead to a collaborative and transparent research culture? …”

Science Academies of G-7 Nations Call for Action to Reach Net-Zero Emissions, Reverse Declines in Biodiversity, and Improve Data-Sharing to Prepare for Future Health Emergencies | National Academies

“Science academies from the G-7 nations today issued three statements recommending that their governments take urgent action to build a net-zero emissions, climate-resilient future, reverse global declines in biodiversity, and improve data-sharing for future health emergencies.   

The statements are intended to inform discussions during the G-7 summit in June to be held in the United Kingdom, as well as ongoing policymaking….”

Civil society statement supporting WTO TRIPS waiver proposal | EIFL

“EIFL and partner consortia in Kenya, Lesotho, Lithuania, Uganda and Zimbabwe joined over 250 organizations, prominent researchers and copyright experts calling for a reduction of copyright barriers to COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment at the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

The statement by global civil society groups and prominent researchers focuses particular attention on the need to include copyright rules within the waiver….”

Statement on Copyright and Proposal of a Waiver from Certain Provisions of the TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19 (IP/C/W/669)

“We support the work and interests of millions of researchers, educators, libraries, archives and museums around the world who are contributing to the prevention, containment and treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic through promotion of access to knowledge. We applaud the efforts of World Trade Organization (WTO) Members to address copyright barriers to an equitable response to COVID-19. Access to copyrighted works, in addition to patents and know-how, is needed to prevent and contain COVID-19 and to develop treatments. COVID-19 has aggravated deep inequalities in access to knowledge. In some countries with flexible copyright systems, residents are able to access and use essential materials in remote educational, learning and research activities, virtually access and use the collections of libraries and other institutions, and contribute to research on treatments using advanced processes such as text and data mining. But these activities are not taking place everywhere because they are not lawful everywhere….”

Publication rate and citation counts for preprints released during the COVID-19 pandemic: the good, the bad and the ugly [PeerJ]

Abstract:  Background

Preprints are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. In December 2019, a novel coronavirus appeared in China, and since then, scientific production, including preprints, has drastically increased. In this study, we intend to evaluate how often preprints about COVID-19 were published in scholarly journals and cited.


We searched the iSearch COVID-19 portfolio to identify all preprints related to COVID-19 posted on bioRxiv, medRxiv, and Research Square from January 1, 2020, to May 31, 2020. We used a custom-designed program to obtain metadata using the Crossref public API. After that, we determined the publication rate and made comparisons based on citation counts using non-parametric methods. Also, we compared the publication rate, citation counts, and time interval from posting on a preprint server to publication in a scholarly journal among the three different preprint servers.


Our sample included 5,061 preprints, out of which 288 were published in scholarly journals and 4,773 remained unpublished (publication rate of 5.7%). We found that articles published in scholarly journals had a significantly higher total citation count than unpublished preprints within our sample (p < 0.001), and that preprints that were eventually published had a higher citation count as preprints when compared to unpublished preprints (p < 0.001). As well, we found that published preprints had a significantly higher citation count after publication in a scholarly journal compared to as a preprint (p < 0.001). Our results also show that medRxiv had the highest publication rate, while bioRxiv had the highest citation count and shortest time interval from posting on a preprint server to publication in a scholarly journal.


We found a remarkably low publication rate for preprints within our sample, despite accelerated time to publication by multiple scholarly journals. These findings could be partially attributed to the unprecedented surge in scientific production observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which might saturate reviewing and editing processes in scholarly journals. However, our findings show that preprints had a significantly lower scientific impact, which might suggest that some preprints have lower quality and will not be able to endure peer-reviewing processes to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.