Dr. Jessica Polka: Revolutionizing Biomedical Research Communication

“In the longer-term future, one could envision a system where researchers post their scientific contributions; a paper, a single figure, a method, a hypothesis; where we have the potential to make smaller contributions to the global knowledge base and get credit for those contributions in a manner that is more rapid and incremental. This would allow multiple scientists to collaborate and contribute to what we now know of as a single paper. Part of the challenge of the next 10 years is the problem of increasing information overload. Journals in the life sciences are aware that preprints have been around in physics for 25 years, and that the existence of preprints do not diminish the need for journals in that field. It is already impossible for a person to read all the relevant literature in their area, and this will only get harder. We need better tools to read and comprehend the literature, and a lot of these tools will be given by innovations in software and machine learning. My hope is that more of the literature is accessible to text and data mining, which will enhance our ability to understand the literature beyond that of a single human reader….”

Six New Preprint Services Join a Growing Community Across Disciplines


“This week, six communities launched preprint services to accelerate dissemination of research. INA-Rxiv, the preprint server of Indonesia; LISSA, an open scholarly platform for library and information science;  MindRxiv, a service for research on mind and contemplative practices; NutriXiv, a preprint service for the nutritional sciences; paleorXiv, a digital archive for Paleontology; and SportRxiv, an open archive for sport and exercise-related research….These new services join AgriXiv (agriculture), BITSS (research methodology), engrXiv (Engineering), LawArXiv (law), PsyArXiv (psychology), SocArXiv (social sciences), Thesis Commons (theses and dissertations), and OSF Preprints (any discipline) in using the free, open-source Open Science Framework (OSF)….The operators of these 14 preprint services illustrate the global growth and diversity of stakeholders invested in accelerating research.  Some of the services are operated by scientific societies (e.g., PsyArXiv), some are operated by research funders (e.g., MindRxiv), some are operated by libraries and library societies (e.g., LawArXiv), and some are operated by grassroots communities of researchers (e.g., SportRxiv, NutriXiv).  All groups are increasing the accessibility and impact of the research done in their community….In addition to hosting preprint services, OSF uses SHARE to aggregate and index over two million search results from preprint providers hosted on other platforms such as arXivbioRXiv, and PeerJ….”

ASAPbio July 2017 Meeting: The Evolving Preprint Ecosystem | ASAPbio

“This meeting will be held at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, MA on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 from 10:30am – 5:30pm EDT. It will be live-streamed.


The goal of this meeting is to identify any gaps/opportunities in the preprint ecosystem, which in turn will help to inform the revision of ASAPbio’s plans before the close of our RFA suspension.”

10 ways to support preprints (besides posting one) | ASAPbio

Preprinting in biology is gaining steam, but the process is still far from normal: the upload rate to all preprint servers is about 1% that of PubMed. The most obvious way for individual scientists to help turn the tide is, of course, to preprint their own work. But given that it now takes longer to accumulate data for a paper, this opportunity might not come up as often as we’d like.

So, what else can we do to promote the productive use of preprints in biology?”

Open science: The findings of medical research are disseminated too slowly | The Economist

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.

January 2017 SPARC Innovator: ASAPbio

“Ron Vale says he’s had a great run at science and now wants to focus on improving biomedical research for the next generation.


“I’ve had this magical life doing this work that I loved and now feel a moral obligation to make sure other young people can live that dream,” says the 58-year-old professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California San Francisco.


Just how to attract and retain young scientists in the field is complicated, but Vale says one tangible way is to change the culture of how science is communicated and accelerate the process.


To address the issue, Vale wrote an opinion piece in biorXiv.org in July of 2015 in which he suggested that biologists consider using preprints to communicate their findings in parallel with using conventional journal publication. The idea of sharing preprints – drafts of scholarly articles posted online prior to publication in a peer-reviewed journal – attracted attention. Preprints are widely used in the physics, mathematics, and computer science communities, but were largely unknown and minimally used in biology in 2015….”

Satoshi Village

“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.”