The relationship between bioRxiv preprints, citations and altmetrics | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press Journals

Abstract:  A potential motivation for scientists to deposit their scientific work as preprints is to enhance its citation or social impact. In this study we assessed the citation and altmetric advantage of bioRxiv, a preprint server for the biological sciences. We retrieved metadata of all bioRxiv preprints deposited between November 2013 and December 2017, and matched them to articles that were subsequently published in peer-reviewed journals. Citation data from Scopus and altmetric data from Altmetric.com were used to compare citation and online sharing behavior of bioRxiv preprints, their related journal articles, and nondeposited articles published in the same journals. We found that bioRxiv-deposited journal articles had sizably higher citation and altmetric counts compared to nondeposited articles. Regression analysis reveals that this advantage is not explained by multiple explanatory variables related to the articles’ publication venues and authorship. Further research will be required to establish whether such an effect is causal in nature. bioRxiv preprints themselves are being directly cited in journal articles, regardless of whether the preprint has subsequently been published in a journal. bioRxiv preprints are also shared widely on Twitter and in blogs, but remain relatively scarce in mainstream media and Wikipedia articles, in comparison to peer-reviewed journal articles.

 

 

The NIH Preprint Pilot: A New Experiment for a New Era – NLM Musings from the Mezzanine

“Recognizing the growing interest in preprints, NLM is today launching the first phase of the NIH Preprint Pilot, which will test the viability of making preprints searchable in PubMed Central (PMC) and, by extension, discoverable in PubMed, starting with COVID-19 preprints reporting NIH-supported research.

To be clear, NLM is not building a preprint server for NIH investigators, nor are we developing a comprehensive preprint discovery resource. Rather, through this pilot, we plan to add a curated collection of preprints from eligible preprint servers to our established literature resources. In doing so, our goal is to improve scholarly communications by accelerating and expanding the findability of NIH research results.

With the encouragement of NIH leadership, NLM has been exploring ways to leverage its literature databases to help accelerate the discoverability and maximize the impact of NIH-supported research via preprints. The planned pilot builds on guidance released by NIH in March 2017, which encouraged NIH investigators to use preprints and other interim research products to speed the dissemination of research and enhance the rigor of their work through public comments and new scientific collaborations….”

Will the pandemic permanently alter scientific publishing?

“Anna Obenauf had never posted her results to a preprint server, but she decided to make the jump in April. She was racing against another team to get findings on a rare skin cancer out quickly, so she uploaded her manuscript to bioRxiv — just like thousands of COVID-19 researchers have been doing during this pandemic. It was a turning point for Obenauf, a cancer biologist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, who particularly liked the quick feedback she received (L. Leiendecker et al. Preprint at bioRxiv http://doi.org/dw3f; 2020). She says she will probably continue to post some of her team’s work on preprint servers in the future.

The COVID-19 crisis has underlined just how fast and open science publishing can be — when scientists want it that way. Researchers working on the pandemic are sharing preliminary results on preprint servers and institutional websites at unprecedented rates, embracing the kind of early, public sharing that physicists and mathematicians have practised for decades. Journals have whisked manuscripts through to formal publication in record time, aided by researchers who have rapidly peer-reviewed the studies. And dozens of publishers and journals, including Elsevier, Springer Nature and the New England Journal of Medicine, have made coronavirus research — new and old — free to read. They have pledged to continue doing so for the duration of the outbreak, and have encouraged or, in some instances, required researchers to post their manuscripts on preprint servers….”

Sharing Africa’s knowledge through open African research repositories | OER Africa

“Open licensing is used for many different kinds of resources – open educational resources (OER), open access research publishing, open data, and more broadly open science. This post discusses developments in access to African research information through repositories that use open licensing. All of the resources are freely available and usually carry a Creative Commons or equivalent license.

OER Africa’s open knowledge primer provides a background on basic concepts and their pertinence to African researchers. OER Africa has also created a Learning Pathway on publishing using open access, which defines terms and will help you acquire the skills necessary to publish or advise on publishing research using Open Access (OA).

Like their global counterparts, many African research institutions and universities are increasingly using open licensing to make their research available and visible globally. The number of open access repositories is growing so quickly that it is difficult to keep track of them. The UK International African Institute (IAI) maintains a list that is frequently updated. IAI, in collaboration with AfricarXiv, has created an interactive map of African digital research literature repositories. You can also search on Google or the search engine of your choice by entering the name of an institution or country and repository (though this would require you to know better what you are looking for).

University open access repositories collect student theses and dissertations, case studies, conference papers, and sometimes journal articles. There are also continent-wide repositories. Three are discussed below. One focuses on university research output; one is a pre-print service; and one is discipline specific….”

Sharing Africa’s knowledge through open African research repositories | OER Africa

“Open licensing is used for many different kinds of resources – open educational resources (OER), open access research publishing, open data, and more broadly open science. This post discusses developments in access to African research information through repositories that use open licensing. All of the resources are freely available and usually carry a Creative Commons or equivalent license.

OER Africa’s open knowledge primer provides a background on basic concepts and their pertinence to African researchers. OER Africa has also created a Learning Pathway on publishing using open access, which defines terms and will help you acquire the skills necessary to publish or advise on publishing research using Open Access (OA).

Like their global counterparts, many African research institutions and universities are increasingly using open licensing to make their research available and visible globally. The number of open access repositories is growing so quickly that it is difficult to keep track of them. The UK International African Institute (IAI) maintains a list that is frequently updated. IAI, in collaboration with AfricarXiv, has created an interactive map of African digital research literature repositories. You can also search on Google or the search engine of your choice by entering the name of an institution or country and repository (though this would require you to know better what you are looking for).

University open access repositories collect student theses and dissertations, case studies, conference papers, and sometimes journal articles. There are also continent-wide repositories. Three are discussed below. One focuses on university research output; one is a pre-print service; and one is discipline specific….”

Speeding Up the Dissemination of Scholarly Information  | Ithaka S+R

“The concept of scholarly record is broadening. There is an increasing emphasis on sharing various outputs from the initial investigation to the final dissemination stage. Understanding how ideas evolve into knowledge in a systematic and timely manner is critically important as we promote  replicability and transparency. The COVID-19 pandemic has further underscored the importance of speedy sharing of research results. It accentuated the role of preprints in sharing results with speed, but also compounded the questions about accuracy, misconduct, and our reliance on the “self-correcting” nature of the scientific enterprise. As scientists and health care professionals, as well as the general public, look for information about the pandemic, preprint services are growing in importance. I hope that this brief will lead to further reflections on such critical questions….”

Publishers Invest in Preprints – The Scholarly Kitchen

“For years now, preprint communities have provided a glimmer of an alternative to the journal publishing system, that speed and efficiency might replace what has seemed to many like a cumbersome editorial and peer review process. What started in a small set of originating fields such as high energy physics in 1991 has, in recent years, begun to take hold elsewhere, including the biomedical sciences. Today, Ithaka S+R has published an overview of key developments in preprint communities, which are grappling with an array of policy issues as they seek to build trust in a contested information environment and build durable business strategies. 

Rob Johnson and Andrea Chiarelli recently looked at some of the options that publishers face in engaging with preprints. Today, we observe that beyond preprint communities that are typically organized around a field or set of fields, in recent years all the major publishers have made their own investments in preprint platforms. Publishers are integrating preprint deposit into their manuscript submission workflows, and adopting a common strategy designed to take back control of preprints….”

10 tips for submitting a successful preprint | Nature Index

“The COVID-19 pandemic has not only accelerated the already rapid growth in submissions of preprints in the biological sciences, but has brought them to the public’s attention as never before.

For example, the medical sciences preprint server medRxiv has already posted more than 3,200 preprints related to the disease. In April, it recorded 10 million views from scientists and the general public.

Many authors in the biological and medical sciences are new to the format. Nature Index asked five experts for their advice on preprint etiquette and best practice….”

EarthArXiv announces new partnership with California Digital Library to host earth sciences preprint service – Office of Scholarly Communication

“The Advisory Council of the EarthArXiv preprint service for earth sciences is pleased to announce a partnership with the California Digital Library (CDL) that will support EarthArXiv’s mission, future growth, and long-term sustainability. Core to this partnership will be the transition of EarthArXiv’s preprints server – including public display and submission management – from the Center for Open Science to the eScholarship Publishing program at the CDL.

CDL will host EarthArXiv using Janeway, an open source publishing platform developed by the Centre for Technology and Publishing and the Open Library of Humanities at Birkbeck University of London. EarthArXiv’s Advisory Council will maintain ownership and control over the preprint server, while the eScholarship Publishing team will contribute to the development, support, and maintenance of the Janeway platform.

Since its founding, EarthArXiv has partnered with the Center for Open Science to host its content online. Recently, however, financial considerations made it necessary for the Advisory Council to explore alternative hosting partners. “After several organizations stepped up to offer new partnerships (for which EarthArXiv will always be grateful), the Advisory Council voted unanimously to partner with the team at the California Digital Library,” said Bruce Caron, one of the founders of EarthArXiv….”

Covid-19 – Scientific research on the coronavirus is being released in a torrent | Science & technology | The Economist

“The current public-health emergency has, however, turbocharged all this. With physicians, policymakers and prime ministers all needing the latest science in order to make immediate life-and-death decisions, speed has become paramount. Journals have responded to sharp rises in submissions by working overtime. In so doing they have squeezed their normal processes down to days or weeks….

In the view of many, though, this is not enough. These people support a different way of disseminating scientific information—one that dethrones the journals by making journal publication an optional extra rather than a researcher’s primary goal. This model of scientific publishing relies on online repositories called preprint servers, on which papers can be posted swiftly and with only minimal formalities. Mathematicians and physicists already use them widely. Biologists increasingly do so too. Covid-19, however, has seen a step-change. Around half of the available scientific work on the pandemic has been released through preprint servers. The hope of preprinting’s supporters is that this will make the shift to using them irreversible….

This increased speed shows that scientists have learned from their sluggish responses to previous outbreaks. In an analysis of research carried out during and after the Ebola outbreak of 2014-16 and the Zika outbreak of 2015-16, Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard now working on covid-19, looked at just how sluggish those responses were. He found that, where preprints had been available, they appeared around 100 days before journal articles that had eventually been published on the same work. Unfortunately, less than 5% of all the journal articles published about the two outbreaks had been preprinted….”