arXiv Annual Update, January 2020 | arXiv e-print repository

“Our next-generation arXiv (arXiv-NG) initiative to improve the service’s core infrastructure by incremental and modular renewal of the existing arXiv system continues to progress. This includes significant effort towards laying the foundations for the NG submission system, which the team hopes to alpha test in Q12020. Existing search, browse, accounts, documentation NG components received incremental improvements. The team also took the initial and essential steps to improve the overall accessibility of arXiv’s user interfaces, both through behind-the-scenes structural improvements and user-facing changes (e.g. support for a mobile-friendly abstract page)….

Key Accomplishments in 2019 and Plans for 2020 Since we started the arXiv sustainability initiative in 2010, an integral part of our work has been assessing the services, technologies, standards, and policies that constitute arXiv. Here are some of our key accomplishments from 2019 to illustrate the range of issues we have been trying to tackle. Please see the 2019 Roadmap for a full account of our work.

We continue to improve facilities for administrators and moderators in order to streamline their workflows, and to improve clarity and transparency of arXiv communications. During 2019, the arXiv team expanded quality control flags.
Our development team continued to improve and extend various search, browse, documentation, and other features as we reimplement, test, refine and continue to improve the arXiv platform. The team made significant progress reimplementing the submission user interface towards an alpha release, new and legacy APIs, as well as backend services. Wherever possible, new software components are developed in public repositories and released under permissive open source licenses. With a reduction of effort in Q42019 due to staff departures, the team shifted most of its remaining resources towards improving and maintaining the operational stability of the arXiv services.
Our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), under the leadership of Licia Verde, has clarified roles and responsibilities for the arXiv Subject Advisory Committees and the Committee Chairs. The effort for outreach and recruitment of new moderators has increased in 2019 with an aim to increase diversity among moderators. We have also modified the SAB membership to include greater representation and engagement with the newer fields that have joined arXiv.
Two major policies were adopted in 2019 including the arXiv Code of Conduct and a Privacy Policy. We thank the staff, moderators, advisory boards, and arXiv users who have contributed to the development of the Code of Conduct.
The arXiv team wished farewells to Janelle Morano (Community Engagement and Membership Coordinator), Jaimie Murdock (arXiv NG Developer), Erick Peirson (Lead System Architect), Liz Woods (User Experience Specialist) and Matt Bierbaum (arXiv Labs). We were pleased to welcome Shamsi Brinn as our new User Experience Specialist in October 2019 and Alison Fromme as new Community Engagement and Membership Coordinator in January 2020. We also initiated a search for a new Backend Python Developer in the last quarter of 2019.
We moved information about our governance, business model, and reports to, to improve overall accessibility to pertinent information about arXiv’s operations. This information was previously available on the arXiv Public Wiki. We continue to regularly update our community at the blog.
As part of the organizational change to Cornell CIS we moved offices in 2019. The arXiv team now has its own dedicated space in historic Uris Library.

The 2020 Roadmap includes our goals as we strive to improve the technical infrastructure, moderation system, user support, and the sustainability framework….”

Infrastructure and Capacity Building – Kathleen Fitzpatrick

“I was delighted this week to be notified that the Humanities Commons team has received an Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities….”

Infrastructure and Capacity Building

Crossposted from Platypus. I was delighted this week to be notified that the Humanities Commons team has received an Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH Announces $30.9 Million for 188 Humanities Projects Nationwide: — NEH (@NEHgov) January 14, 2020 This grant is the foundation of … Continue reading Infrastructure and Capacity Building ?

Cambridge Open Engage

“The collaborative platform to upload, share and advance your research

Cambridge Open Engage is the new early content platform from Cambridge University Press, designed to provide researchers with the space and resources to connect and collaborate with their communities, and rapidly disseminate early research. The platform is currently under development using a co-creation approach and we’re inviting researchers to actively input to help us shape the features and functionality. Register your interest below to stay up to date and to participate in its progress!…”

It’s an Open World: A Round Table Event

“For more than 300 years, scholarly articles were locked in journals, accessible only to those with access to the print, and more recently digital, editions. Now authors, readers, journal editors, and publishers face expectations for articles and the supporting data to be open and easily accessible to all.

Open Access and its numerous business models have dominated much of the dialogue in scholarly publishing the past few years. Drawing on the experience of participants, SSP Philly seeks to uncover best practices and what to expect with new OA dynamics.

Philadelphia has a long history of publishing.  Come learn from your colleagues’ experiences, ideas, and recommendations about this new open world.  Begin the evening by mingling over food and drink, and then rotating into 30-minute group discussions across four roundtables, choosing from the following topics:

Plan S & Transformative Agreements
Data Sharing Policies & Tools
Preprint Repositories & Academic Social Networking Sites
Open Access in the Social Sciences and Humanities….”

The Second Wave of Preprint Servers: How Can Publishers Keep Afloat? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Preprint servers have been growing explosively over the last ten years: over 60 platforms are currently available worldwide, and the sharing of research outputs prior to formal peer-review and publication is increasing in popularity. Preprint servers have a long history in fields such as high energy physics, where extensive collaboration and co-authorship are the norm, and economics, with its lengthy review and publication process. Services like arXiv and RePEC emerged in the 1990s as a means of enabling early-sharing of research results in these disciplines, and have co-existed with traditional journals for decades….

Over the last 12 months we’ve been working on a project commissioned by Knowledge Exchange to explore the role of preprints in the scholarly communication process, speaking with researchers, research performing organizations, research funding organizations, and preprint service providers. Our interviews with authors indicate that early and fast dissemination is the primary motive behind preprint posting. In addition, the increased scope for feedback seems to be highly valued, with much of this interaction taking place via Twitter and email, rather than via direct comments on preprint servers. Early career researchers see particular advantages: the inclusion of preprints on CVs or funding applications enables them to demonstrate credibility in a field much sooner than would otherwise be the case….

In fields with a longstanding preprint culture, such as economics, scholarly practice has evolved to the point where ‘the working paper [on RePEc] is downloaded many times more than the article’. Similar patterns have been observed in mathematics, where arXiv-deposited articles appear to receive a citation advantage but see a reduction in downloads, and there are early indications of citation and altmetric advantages to biological science papers deposited in bioRxiv….

Journals with strong brands, or in fields that have yet to show much interest in preprints, may therefore find that a wait-and-see strategy serves them best. It remains unclear how many of the new crop of preprint servers will be able to develop a sustainable business model, and the recent decision by PeerJ to stop accepting new preprints lends credence to a cautious approach. Having established the first dedicated services for preprints in biology and life science, PeerJ’s management team have now opted to focus solely on peer-reviewed journals – effectively conceding the territory to not-for-profit preprint servers such as BioRxiv. As PeerJ’s CEO Jason Hoyt observes: ‘What we’re learning is that preprints are not a desired replacement for peer review, but a welcome complement to it.’


The second wave of preprint servers has much to offer the researcher community, but those expecting it to wash away existing scientific journals are liable to be disappointed. In our view, the biggest threat to academic publishers will come, not from preprint servers, but from other publishers that do a better job of addressing authors’ desire for accelerated dissemination, feedback and scholarly credit. This might be achieved through improved internal workflows, acquisition or strategic partnerships. In each case, seeing the integration of preprints into the research workflow as an opportunity, rather than a disruptive threat, is likely to offer publishers the best hope of continuing to identify and attract high-quality content.

bioRxiv: the preprint server for biology | bioRxiv

Abstract:  The traditional publication process delays dissemination of new research, often by months, sometimes by years. Preprint servers decouple dissemination of research papers from their evaluation and certification by journals, allowing researchers to share work immediately, receive feedback from a much larger audience, and provide evidence of productivity long before formal publication. Launched in 2013 as a non-profit community service, the bioRxiv server has brought preprint practice to the life sciences and recently posted its 64,000th manuscript. The server now receives more than four million views per month and hosts papers spanning all areas of biology. Initially dominated by evolutionary biology, genetics/genomics and computational biology, bioRxiv has been increasingly populated by papers in neuroscience, cell and developmental biology, and many other fields. Changes in journal and funder policies that encourage preprint posting have helped drive adoption, as has the development of bioRxiv technologies that allow authors to transfer papers easily between the server and journals. A bioRxiv user survey found that 42% of authors post their preprints prior to journal submission whereas 37% post concurrently with journal submission. Authors are motivated by a desire to share work early; they value the feedback they receive, and very rarely experience any negative consequences of preprint posting. Rapid dissemination via bioRxiv is also encouraging new initiatives that experiment with the peer review process and the development of novel approaches to literature filtering and assessment.

bioRxiv: Trends and analysis of five years of preprints – Anderson – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  bioRxiv was founded on the premise that publicly posting preprints would allow authors to receive feedback and submit improved papers to journals. This paper analyses a number of trends against this stated purpose, namely, the timing of preprint postings relative to submission to accepting journals; trends in the rate of unpublished preprints over time; trends in the timing of publication of preprints by accepting journals; and trends in the concentration of published, reviewed preprints by publisher. Findings show that a steady c.30% of preprints remain unpublished and that the majority is posted onto bioRxiv close to or after submission – therefore giving no time for feedback to help improve the articles. Four publishers (Elsevier, Nature, PLOS, and Oxford University Press) account for the publication of 47% of bioRxiv preprints. Taken together, it appears that bioRxiv is not accomplishing its stated goals and that authors may be using the platform more to establish priority, as a marketing enhancement of papers, and as functional Green OA, rather than as a community?driven source of prepublication review.


How journals are using overlay publishing models to facilitate equitable OA

“Preprint repositories have traditionally served as platforms to share copies of working papers prior to publication. But today they are being used for so much more, like posting datasets, archiving final versions of articles to make them Green Open Access, and another major development — publishing academic journals. Over the past 20 years, the concept of overlay publishing, or layering journals on top of existing repository platforms, has developed from a pilot project idea to a recognized and growing publishing model.

In the overlay publishing model, a journal performs refereeing services, but it doesn’t publish articles on its website. Rather, the journal’s website links to final article versions hosted on an online repository….”

Open Access: The Role and Impact of Preprint Servers | NISO website

“Preprint servers and services are actively embraced by a broad range of research communities in North America. Scholarly output in a variety of forms (text, supplemental materials, code, etc.) can be accessed by students and researchers before a final version of record is released. That being the case, there are pragmatic concerns for various constituencies in the information community. Does the feedback that authors receive from those visiting these platforms suffice as a form of peer-review? What accountability exists? Does deposit of a researcher’s preprint automatically qualify as compliance with a funder’s mandate for OA? Additional issues include consistent use of identifiers, the supply of complete and accurate metadata, assurance of long-term preservation and system interoperability. Far from wishing to obstruct this approach to open access, most stakeholders seek to ensure preprint services will be appropriately recognized and integrated into our existing scholarly ecosystem.

The two-day event will enable participants to engage in a cross-sector discussion of how best to integrate preprint services into existing research processes. The objective is to identify potential issues and existing gaps currently impeding the work of those most affected. Scheduled small group discussions will allow attendees to better understand specific community needs and identify mechanisms that will satisfy those needs. What’s working? What’s not? Attend this NISO Foresight event and help the community to further open access just that little bit more!

Among others, currently confirmed speakers include Gerry Grenier, Senior Director, Content Management, IEEE, Oya Rieger, Senior Advisor, Ithaka S&R, Kent Anderson, Founder, Caldera Publishing Solutions, Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director, COAR, Tyler Walters, Dean of Libraries, Virginia Tech; Angela Cochran, Managing Director and Publisher, ASCE, Thomas Narock, Assistant Professor, Integrative Data Analytics, Goucher College, and Gregg Gordon, Managing Director, SSRN….”