Journal attitudes and outcomes of preprints in dermatology – Jia – – British Journal of Dermatology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  The use of preprints, manuscripts that can be uploaded to a public server and made almost immediately available for public dissemination without peer review, is becoming increasingly common.1 Preprint servers are not typically associated with established peer?reviewed journals and often operate independently. Proponents of preprints point toward improved rapid dissemination of results and opportunities for crowdsourced feedback before submission to peer?reviewed journals.1 Conversely, inconsistent upload criteria among preprint servers (such as lack of guidance for reporting conflict of interest or image manipulation),1 and the risk for widespread discourse of non?peer reviewed results by news media may impinge on research integrity.2 As members of the public may not understand the difference between preprints and traditionally peer?reviewed articles, preprints have the potential to cause widespread confusion and mistrust.2 Use of preprints may also make publication of results in traditional journals more difficult, as the results may be perceived to be less novel. Despite controversy, the number of preprints continue to rise.3 There is limited understanding of how dermatology journals view and consider preprints. In this study, we explore dermatology journal policies toward the submission of preprint articles for publication, and corresponding publication outcomes of dermatology articles previously uploaded to a large clinically oriented preprint server.

 

Researchers avoid preprints when possible, publisher’s survey says

“A recent survey by academic publisher Springer Nature suggests academics strongly prefer to read and cite final versions of journal articles over earlier drafts….

Nearly 1,400 ResearchGate users responded to the survey in early 2020. A majority of survey respondents said when given the choice between an earlier version of a journal article and the final published version of record, they would choose the final version, viewing it as the most credible and authoritative source. When citing an article in their own work, 83 percent of respondents said they preferred to use the version of record over earlier versions….

It is not particularly surprising that academics say they would choose version-of-record articles over preprint versions of the same article, said Jessica Polka, executive director of ASAPbio, a group that advocates for the open publication of STEM research.

In a recent analysis of articles published on preprint servers bioRxiv and medRxiv, Polka and her colleagues found relatively few differences between preprint articles and their final published counterparts….

While staff at Springer Nature have worked over the past two years to increase their collaboration with ResearchGate, staff at several other major academic publishers have actively tried to distance their companies from the site and diminish its role in the research information landscape — an interesting division in approach.

In 2018, publishers including Elsevier and the American Chemical Society formed a group called the Coalition for Responsible Sharing. This group sent thousands of take-down notices to ResearchGate demanding the site remove unauthorized copies of journal articles. Elsevier and ACS have also filed copyright infringement lawsuits against ResearchGate, legal battles that are still working their way through American and German courts….”

How the world is adapting to preprints

“A certain trend emerged from the preprint discussions. Praise for preprints and their virtues was reliably bracketed by an acknowledgement that the medium was a bit green and a bit untamed: the Wild West of scientific publishing, where anything can happen.

Similar analogies from the publishing community have been abundant. At a talk organized by the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Shirley Decker-Lucke, Content Director at SSRN, likened preprints to raw oysters: They’re generally safe, but sometimes you get a bad one. On the same panel, Lyle Ostrow, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins, compared the adoption of preprints to the shift from horse-drawn buggies to automobiles: They’re faster, they’re better, but they will require education to use safely. The following week, a Scholarly Kitchen article about preprints drew a parallel with unruly teenagers: “tremendous promise, but in need of more adult supervision to achieve their potential”….

As it is, most preprint servers have not been agnostic about the papers they post. Generally, they restrict passage of content that is clearly unscientific, unethical, potentially harmful or not representative of a novel, empirically derived finding. That is, they already impose some editorial standards.

Preprint platforms offer authors a legitimate place to host their work with unprecedented speed, for free. In time, they could be in a position to enforce, or at least strongly incentivize, standards that are widely acknowledged to support research integrity, like data and code availability, details of randomization and blinding, study limitations and lay summaries for findings that are consequential to human health….”

How the world is adapting to preprints

“A certain trend emerged from the preprint discussions. Praise for preprints and their virtues was reliably bracketed by an acknowledgement that the medium was a bit green and a bit untamed: the Wild West of scientific publishing, where anything can happen.

Similar analogies from the publishing community have been abundant. At a talk organized by the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Shirley Decker-Lucke, Content Director at SSRN, likened preprints to raw oysters: They’re generally safe, but sometimes you get a bad one. On the same panel, Lyle Ostrow, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins, compared the adoption of preprints to the shift from horse-drawn buggies to automobiles: They’re faster, they’re better, but they will require education to use safely. The following week, a Scholarly Kitchen article about preprints drew a parallel with unruly teenagers: “tremendous promise, but in need of more adult supervision to achieve their potential”….

As it is, most preprint servers have not been agnostic about the papers they post. Generally, they restrict passage of content that is clearly unscientific, unethical, potentially harmful or not representative of a novel, empirically derived finding. That is, they already impose some editorial standards.

Preprint platforms offer authors a legitimate place to host their work with unprecedented speed, for free. In time, they could be in a position to enforce, or at least strongly incentivize, standards that are widely acknowledged to support research integrity, like data and code availability, details of randomization and blinding, study limitations and lay summaries for findings that are consequential to human health….”

Call to Action: Share Your Feedback on Controlled Digital Lending | Authors Alliance

“Authors Alliance is gathering feedback from authors about Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”) in order to strengthen our advocacy work and better represent your interests. Several of our members have already shared their views on how CDL helps authors and researchers, and we are now asking you to add your voice by completing this short form. …”

Version of Record | Open research | Springer Nature

“To what extent does article version matter to researchers? Does the version of record (VOR) offer significantly more value to them, to the extent that it would impact the way a researcher might discover, read or share a research output?

Exploring researcher preference for the version of record is a new white paper by Springer Nature in collaboration with ResearchGate, exploring researcher preference for the VOR, compared to other article versions such as the accepted manuscript (AM) or preprints.

The white paper provides evidence of the value of the VOR and immediate gold open access (OA), bringing together both analysis of VOR usage, and feedback from readers and authors via an online questionnaire….”

Journal policies and editors’ opinions on peer review

“To the extent that these tensions extend to open peer review policies, editors’ concerns about negative impacts on reviewer acceptance rates are not unfounded [7,21,36-39]. For example, findings from a survey of over 12,000 researchers by Publons in 2018 reported that, depending on which policies were adopted, 37 to 49% of participants stated they would be less likely to accept an invitation to review [7]. However, while these findings are unfortunate for proponents of open peer review, there is also evidence to suggest these views may be shifting, especially among younger and non-academic scholars [7,40].

Previous research has reported that three quarters of editors consider finding willing reviewers as the most difficult part of their job, with this task projected to become only more difficult. Furthermore, given that it is estimated that 10% of reviewers account for 50% of performed reviews, it is not surprising that the perceived impact of changes on an editor’s ability to recruit reviewers contributes heavily to journal policymaking decisions [7]. It is therefore also not surprising for the reasons above that we note very low uptake of the three policies most often associated with open peer review: open identities, open reports and open interactions in the current study and previous research [26,27,29]….”

Frontiers | Where Do Early Career Researchers Stand on Open Science Practices? A Survey Within the Max Planck Society | Research Metrics and Analytics

Abstract:  Open science (OS) is of paramount importance for the improvement of science worldwide and across research fields. Recent years have witnessed a transition toward open and transparent scientific practices, but there is still a long way to go. Early career researchers (ECRs) are of crucial relevance in the process of steering toward the standardization of OS practices, as they will become the future decision makers of the institutional change that necessarily accompanies this transition. Thus, it is imperative to gain insight into where ECRs stand on OS practices. Under this premise, the Open Science group of the Max Planck PhDnet designed and conducted an online survey to assess the stance toward OS practices of doctoral candidates from the Max Planck Society. As one of the leading scientific institutions for basic research worldwide, the Max Planck Society provides a considerable population of researchers from multiple scientific fields, englobed into three sections: biomedical sciences, chemistry, physics and technology, and human and social sciences. From an approximate total population of 5,100 doctoral candidates affiliated with the Max Planck Society, the survey collected responses from 568 doctoral candidates. The survey assessed self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and implementation of different OS practices, namely, open access publications, open data, preregistrations, registered reports, and replication studies. ECRs seemed to hold a generally positive view toward these different practices and to be interested in learning more about them. Furthermore, we found that ECRs’ knowledge and positive attitudes predicted the extent to which they implemented these OS practices, although levels of implementation were rather low in the past. We observed differences and similarities between scientific sections. We discuss these differences in terms of need and feasibility to apply these OS practices in specific scientific fields, but additionally in relation to the incentive systems that shape scientific communities. Lastly, we discuss the implications that these results can have for the training and career advancement of ECRs, and ultimately, for the consolidation of OS practices.