“Preprints — versions of research papers made publicly available prior to formal publication in a peer reviewed journal — continue to be a topic of much discussion within the medical publications community. As the industry looks at ways to improve and advance the transparent and timely dissemination of research, preprints offer a potential route to achieving these aims. Already commonly used in fields such as physics, the launch of the medical publications preprint server medRxiv, expected later this year, is awaited with interest.
Meanwhile, Public Library of Science (PLOS) announced last month that all articles submitted to PLOS journals will now automatically be published on the biology preprint server bioRxiv as preprints, ahead of ‘traditional’ publication in a PLOS journal. Following initial top-line checks by PLOS, to ensure adherence to things like ethical standards and the journal’s scope, articles will be posted to bioRxiv while undergoing peer review at PLOS in parallel.
PLOS and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which operates bioRxiv, hope this collaboration will help advance data dissemination and ultimately increase the speed of research. The potential of preprints has also been explored by other groups, including the possibility for preprints to improve online article engagement and for journals to use preprint servers to identify potential articles for publication.”
“As preprints in medicine are debated, data on how preprints are used, cited, and published are needed. We evaluated views and downloads and Altmetric scores and citations of preprints and their publications. We also assessed whether Altmetric scores and citations of published articles correlated with prior preprint posting….Published articles with preprints had significantly higher Altmetric scores than published articles without preprints….”
ON JANUARY 1st the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation did something that may help to change the practice of science. It brought into force a policy, foreshadowed two years earlier, that research it supports (it is the world’s biggest source of charitable money for scientific endeavours, to the tune of some $4bn a year) must, when published, be freely available to all. On March 23rd it followed this up by announcing that it will pay the cost of putting such research in one particular repository of freely available papers.
“Finally, preprints are also becoming a hot topic in life-science publishing, and Development has adopted a preprint-friendly policy. Preprints are manuscripts that are deposited in a public repository such as bioRxiv (http://biorxiv.org/) prior to publication. These manuscripts, which usually have not yet been peer-reviewed, are freely accessible to the entire scientific community. In 2015, we made it possible for authors submitting to Development to have their paper automatically deposited in bioRxiv, making it public in a matter of days. Now, you can also submit to Development through the bioRxiv submission system. This preprint model has been in place for more than 20 years in the maths and physics communities and it offers many advantages. Most importantly, research results are not held up from the scientific community for months or years due to the ever-increasing length of the review process. Thus, the data are immediately available and not hidden behind a paywall. …”
“Jordan Anaya of Omnes Res — creator of the PrePubMed search engine for biomedical preprints — recently compared bioRxiv to PeerJ Preprints. We agree that PeerJ offers the better technology and user experience. However, bioRxiv has greater adoption in the biodata sciences.
In fact, since my last blog post on preprints at the beginning of 2016, bioRxiv has grown by 149% from 2,785 to 6,933 preprints. The growth has been fueled largely by the efforts of ASAPbio and the growing recognition that publishing delays are interfering with science.”
“Earlier this week, I took part in a workshop on preprints – organised by Alfonso Martinez-Arias and held in Cambridge, UK. Inspired by the ASAPbio movement in the States, Alfonso felt it would be useful to bring discussion of the potential value of preprints more to the forefront in the UK. Happily, he was able to get John Inglis, co-founder of bioRxiv (the primary preprint server for the life sciences), to speak at this event, and also invited several other speakers – including myself – to talk about their experiences with preprint servers.”