The prehistory of biology preprints: A forgotten experiment from the 1960s

Abstract:  In 1961, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began to circulate biological preprints in a forgotten experiment called the Information Exchange Groups (IEGs). This system eventually attracted over 3,600 participants and saw the production of over 2,500 different documents, but by 1967, it was effectively shut down following the refusal of journals to accept articles that had been circulated as preprints. This article charts the rise and fall of the IEGs and explores the parallels with the 1990s and the biomedical preprint movement of today.

 

Accelerating scholarly communication: The transformative role of preprints

“The overall objective of this study was to explore the place of preprints in the research lifecycle from the points of view of researchers, research performing organisations, research funding organisations and preprint servers/ service providers. Our investigation covered:

` Core benefits and usage in the case of researchers, including incentives and disincentives

` Attitudes of research performing organisations (RPOs) and research funders

` Values, strategies and aims of service providers….”

Launching Transpose, a database of journal policies on preprinting & peer review – ASAPbio

“Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Transpose (@TransposeSCI), a database of journal peer review, co-reviewing, and preprint policies relating to media coverage, licensing, versions, and citation.

These policies can often be difficult to find, unclear, or undefined. Our hope is to bring them to light so that authors, readers, reviewers, and other stakeholders can more easily find journals that align with their values. At the same time, editors can use this resource to draw inspiration from changing practices at other journals. (Read more user stories here.)

In addition to searching for individual journals, users can select up to three journals to compare side-by-side. For instance, when planning when to preprint, researchers may wish to look up the preprint policies for up to three journals they’re likely to submit to and check which are supportive of preprints and any conditions attached to this….”

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….”

Reviewer criticises ‘no publication after preprint’ rule | THE News

“An academic is boycotting peer review for a scholarly journal after it turned down a manuscript that had previously been published on the website of an education centre.

The journal in question said that if the author had posted the article behind a paywall on a conference website, it would have still accepted it for publication.”

Preprints made Outlaws

“The Commission of Biochemical Editors of the International Union of Biochemistry is proposing to take firm and, it hopes, lethal steps against the Information Exchange Groups which have been organized, over the past four years, from the National Institutes of Health in the United States. At a meeting in Vienna a week ago, the editors of six principal journals agreed to propose to their editorial boards that in the future they would not accept articles or other communications previously circulated through the Information Exchange Groups….”

Preprints made Outlaws

“The Commission of Biochemical Editors of the International Union of Biochemistry is proposing to take firm and, it hopes, lethal steps against the Information Exchange Groups which have been organized, over the past four years, from the National Institutes of Health in the United States. At a meeting in Vienna a week ago, the editors of six principal journals agreed to propose to their editorial boards that in the future they would not accept articles or other communications previously circulated through the Information Exchange Groups….”

FASEB editorial policy, updated to allow submission of preprints

“FASEB [Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology] permits the submission of preprint manuscripts, which will undergo the same review process as “non-preprint” manuscripts. Preprint submissions must meet the following criteria and conditions:
  
  1. The preprint cannot be under consideration for publication elsewhere, at any time it is being considered for publication by FASEB.
  2. Once a manuscript has been formally submitted to FASEB, no additional versions of the manuscript may be posted to preprint servers (A) while it is under consideration or reconsideration, (B) while undergoing revision prior to, or during, re-review/resubmission, and (C) while being prepared for publication.
  3. Additional manuscript versions of articles published by FASEB may not be posted to preprint servers after publication unless these manuscripts have an open access copyright license. (FASEB does permit certain manuscript versions of accepted articles to be posted to repositories and archives. Please click here to read that policy.)
  4. The preprint must be assigned a preprint DOI, and the preprint server must make all versions of a preprint manuscript (and related materials, such as figures, tables, supplemental data, etc.) available, as well as make it clear which version is the latest version. Please click here for more information about preprint DOIs.
  5. The preprint server must automatically link to the article in the journal once the article has been published on the journal’s web site.
  6. Preprint submissions posted to preprint servers with an open access license are allowed, but authors will be required—without exception—to pay the journal’s open access fee as a condition of acceptance.
  7. The authors must: (A) disclose at first submission that a manuscript has been posted to a preprint server, (B) indicate which server is being used and the copyright license under which the manuscript has been posted, and (C) provide a link to the preprint version of the article.
  8. Once a manuscript has been formally submitted, the authors may not change the copyright terms of the preprint. …”

FASEB editorial policy, updated to allow submission of preprints

“FASEB [Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology] permits the submission of preprint manuscripts, which will undergo the same review process as “non-preprint” manuscripts. Preprint submissions must meet the following criteria and conditions:
  
  1. The preprint cannot be under consideration for publication elsewhere, at any time it is being considered for publication by FASEB.
  2. Once a manuscript has been formally submitted to FASEB, no additional versions of the manuscript may be posted to preprint servers (A) while it is under consideration or reconsideration, (B) while undergoing revision prior to, or during, re-review/resubmission, and (C) while being prepared for publication.
  3. Additional manuscript versions of articles published by FASEB may not be posted to preprint servers after publication unless these manuscripts have an open access copyright license. (FASEB does permit certain manuscript versions of accepted articles to be posted to repositories and archives. Please click here to read that policy.)
  4. The preprint must be assigned a preprint DOI, and the preprint server must make all versions of a preprint manuscript (and related materials, such as figures, tables, supplemental data, etc.) available, as well as make it clear which version is the latest version. Please click here for more information about preprint DOIs.
  5. The preprint server must automatically link to the article in the journal once the article has been published on the journal’s web site.
  6. Preprint submissions posted to preprint servers with an open access license are allowed, but authors will be required—without exception—to pay the journal’s open access fee as a condition of acceptance.
  7. The authors must: (A) disclose at first submission that a manuscript has been posted to a preprint server, (B) indicate which server is being used and the copyright license under which the manuscript has been posted, and (C) provide a link to the preprint version of the article.
  8. Once a manuscript has been formally submitted, the authors may not change the copyright terms of the preprint. …”