“Although open-access publication has its upsides, for purposes of this essay, I am going to lump publishing in open-access journals in with posting to preprint servers as potentially problematic. My reason for doing so is that both make it harder for clinicians to separate helpful research from distracting, unhelpful, and in the case of preprint servers, unvetted material. In previous editorials, I’ve highlighted some redeeming qualities of open-access publication [17, 18]; I also note that open access is a publication option here at CORR®. But from where I sit today, it’s becoming clear to me that the distortion of publication incentives that are inherent to fully open-access journals does not serve readers (or their patients) very well….”
eLife is excited to announce a new approach to peer review and publishing in medicine, including public health and health policy.
One of the most notable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the desire to share important results and discoveries quickly, widely and openly, leading to rapid growth of the preprint server medRxiv. Despite the benefits of rapid, author-driven publication in accelerating research and democratising access to results, the growing number of clinical preprints means that individuals and institutions may act quickly on new information before it is adequately scrutinised.
To address this challenge, eLife is bringing its system of editorial oversight by practicing clinicians and clinician-investigators, and rigorous, consultative peer review to preprints. The journal’s goal is to produce ‘refereed preprints’ on medRxiv that provide readers and potential users with a detailed assessment of the research, comments on its potential impact, and perspectives on its use. By providing this rich and rapid evaluation of new results, eLife hopes peer-reviewed preprints will become a reliable indicator of quality in medical research, rather than journal impact factor.
“Preprints enable researchers to rapidly share their work publicly before the formal peer review process. In this webinar you will learn more about preprints and their benefits for the research community from ASAPbio; will hear an author’s perspective on posting preprints from Sumeet Pal Singh, a group leader at IRIBHM, ULB; and will find out how to incorporate preprints in your literature search routine by using the preprint discovery tools developed by Europe PMC.”
“According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Open Science is the movement to make scientific research and data accessible to all. It has great potential for advancing science. At its core, it includes (but is not limited to) open access, open data, and open research. Some of the associated advantages are promoting collaboration, sharing and reproducibility in research, and preventing the reinvention of the wheel, thus saving resources. As research becomes more globalized and its output grows exponentially, especially in data, the need for open scientific research practices is more evident — the future of modern science. This has resulted in a concerted global interest in open science uptake. Even so, barriers still exist. The formal training curriculum in most, if not all, universities in Kenya does not equip students with the knowledge and tools to subsequently practice open science in their research. Therefore, to work openly and collaboratively, there is a need for awareness and training in the use of open science tools. These have been neglected, especially in most developing countries, and remain barriers to the cause. Moreover, there is scanty research on the state of affairs regarding the practice and/or adoption of open science. Thus, we developed, through the OpenScienceKE framework, a model to narrow the gap. A sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model was applied in Nairobi, the economic and administrative capital of Kenya. Using the model, we sensitized through seminars, trained on the use of tools through workshops, applied the skills learned in training through hackathons to collaboratively answer the question on the state of open science in Kenya. While the former parts of the model had 20–50 participants, the latter part mainly involved participants with a bioinformatics background, leveraging their advanced computational skills. This model resulted in an open resource that researchers can use to publish as open access cost-effectively. Moreover, we observed a growing interest in open science practices in Kenya through literature search and data mining and that lack of awareness and skills may still hinder the adoption and practice of open science. Furthermore, at the time of the analyses, we surprisingly found that out of the 20,069 papers downloaded from BioRXiv, only 18 had Kenyan authors, a majority of which are international (16) collaborations. This may suggest poor uptake of the use of preprints among Kenyan researchers. The findings in this study highlight the state of open science in Kenya and challenges facing its adoption and practice while bringing forth possible areas for primary consideration in the campaign toward open science. It also proposes a model (sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model) that may be adopted by researchers, funders and other proponents of open science to address some of the challenges faced in promoting its adoption in Kenya….”
“Preprints enable researchers to rapidly share their work publicly before the formal peer review process. In this webinar you will learn more about preprints and their benefits for the research community from ASAPbio (Accelerating Science and Publication in biology); will hear an author’s perspective on posting preprints from Sumeet Pal Singh, a group leader at IRIBHM, ULB; and will find out how to incorporate preprints in your literature search routine by using the preprint discovery tools developed by Europe PMC….”
“In 2020, DADOS began accepting the submission of manuscripts from preprint servers. However, there are still many concerns from the academic community, especially in the Social Sciences, about what preprints are and what changes they bring to the traditional framework of scientific assessment and publication. Our goal here is to answer these questions briefly, in addition to explaining in a simple way how to submit a preprint to DADOS. To this end, we have prepared a schematic of how manuscripts are evaluated in the traditional double-blind review system and how it has been modified in the preprint model. Next, we have a video and a podcast episode (both available in Portuguese only) about how DADOS will incorporate preprints, followed by a text summarizing this material….”
Abstract: The impact of COVID-19 has underlined the need for reliable information to guide clinical practice and policy. This urgency has to be balanced against disruption to journal handling capacity and the continued need to ensure scientific rigour. We examined the reporting quality of highly disseminated COVID-19 research papers using a bibliometric analysis examining reporting quality and risk of bias (RoB) amongst 250 top scoring Altmetric Attention Score (AAS) COVID-19 research papers between January and April 2020. Method-specific RoB tools were used to assess quality. After exclusions, 84 studies from 44 journals were included. Forty-three (51%) were case series/studies, and only one was an randomized controlled trial. Most authors were from institutions based in China (n =?44, 52%). The median AAS and impact factor was 2015 (interquartile range [IQR] 1,105–4,051.5) and 12.8 (IQR 5–44.2) respectively. Nine studies (11%) utilized a formal reporting framework, 62 (74%) included a funding statement, and 41 (49%) were at high RoB. This review of the most widely disseminated COVID-19 studies highlights a preponderance of low-quality case series with few research papers adhering to good standards of reporting. It emphasizes the need for cautious interpretation of research and the increasingly vital responsibility that journals have in ensuring high-quality publications.
[Spanish-language article with an English-language abstract.]
Abstract: The impact and the universality of the pandemic by SARS-CoV-2 has caused the need to have information quickly and accessible for the benefit of decision-making among healthcare professionals. In 10 months the scientific production on this new coronavirus has exceeded the number of 66 thousand articles, according to the LitCovid database, created by the National Library of Medicine, doubling and tripling every few weeks. This same urgency has characterized some of the main features of this voluminous production, in addition to its continuous and exponential growth, such as greater dissemination in open access and preprint repositories, a certain acceleration in the manuscript review process by editorials and an abundance of opinion articles, recommendations or comments compared to a smaller number of original articles with clinical data from large groups of patients.
Abstract: Preprints are an increasingly important component of the scholarly record and preprint platforms have correspondingly grown in number. Academic communities value preprints for the opportunity to share early findings with peers and receive immediate feedback on not-yet-reviewed works. With the COVID pandemic, a broader audience is turning to preprints, as political leaders, journalists, and the public seek new information about the virus. Complications arise, however, when the unvetted nature of these works is not clearly signaled alongside discussions of their findings. In late 2020, Rick Anderson captured these concerns, highlighting cases where discredited preprints remained available to read, presenting a potential for misinformation. Anderson posited that preprint platform providers, not just editors, should ensure adequate preprint vetting and be willing to retract them. With the availability of two new open-source preprint platforms–PKP’s Open Preprint Systems (OPS) and Birkbeck’s Janeway preprint server–library publishers now have familiar, robust infrastructure for entering this space and are a logical home for such services, especially given a strong commitment to a specific research community. But what additional responsibilities must we accept–if any–as publishers of this genre? Should we establish terms for vetting of submissions? Without adequate domain knowledge, how would we enforce, or even audit, such terms? How do we indicate that a specific preprint’s findings have not yet been formally accepted? What about obligations regarding debunked publications? What are the responsibilities of platform providers, publishers, and editors? Should library publishers, as a community of practice, expand on the proposed best practices related to preprint metadata to ensure we are responsible actors in providing access to early research? Panelists will explore these questions during the session’s first half, and invite attendee participation for the second. Registered attendees will receive an advance survey regarding current/planned preprint publishing, in order to identify additional discussion topics.
eLife is pleased to announce today its ongoing support for Coko to develop open-source software solutions for publishing, including Kotahi – a new journal platform that can also help facilitate the publication and review of preprints.