Attitudes, behaviours and experiences of authors of COVID-19 preprints

Abstract:  The COVID-19 pandemic caused a rise in preprinting, apparently triggered by the need for open and rapid dissemination of research outputs. We surveyed authors of COVID-19 preprints to learn about their experience of preprinting as well as publishing in a peer-reviewed journal. A key aim was to consider preprints in terms of their effectiveness for authors to receive feedback on their work. We also aimed to compare the impact of feedback on preprints with the impact of comments of editors and reviewers on papers submitted to journals. We observed a high rate of new adopters of preprinting who reported positive intentions regarding preprinting their future work. This allows us to posit that the boost in preprinting may have a structural effect that will last after the pandemic. We also saw a high rate of feedback on preprints but mainly through “closed” channels – directly to the authors. This means that preprinting was a useful way to receive feedback on research, but the value of feedback could be increased further by facilitating and promoting “open” channels for preprint feedback. At the same time, almost a quarter of the preprints that received feedback received comments resembling journal peer review. This shows the potential of preprint feedback to provide valuable detailed comments on research. However, journal peer review resulted in a higher rate of major changes in the papers surveyed, suggesting that the journal peer review process has significant added value compared to preprint feedback.


Open Access Research Outputs Receive More Diverse Citations | Zenodo

Huang, Chun-Kai (Karl), Neylon, Cameron, Montgomery, Lucy, Handcock, Rebecca N., & Wilson, Katie. (2022). Open Access Research Outputs Receive More Diverse Citations (Version 1). Zenodo.

The goal of open access is to allow more people to read and use research outputs. An observed association between highly cited research outputs and open access has been claimed as evidence of increased usage of the research, but this remains controversial. A higher citation count also does not necessarily imply wider usage such as citations by authors from more places. A knowledge gap exists in our understanding of who gets to use open access research outputs and where users are located. Here we address this gap by examining the association between an output’s open access status and the diversity of research outputs that cite it. By analysing large-scale bibliographic data from 2010 to 2019, we found a robust association between open access and increased diversity of citation sources by institutions, countries, subregions, regions, and fields of research, across outputs with both high and medium-low citation counts. Open access through disciplinary or institutional repositories showed a stronger effect than open access via publisher platforms. This study adds a new perspective to our understanding of how citations can be used to explore the effects of open access. It also provides new evidence at global scale of the benefits of open access as a mechanism for widening the use of research and increasing the diversity of the communities that benefit from it.


The relationship between open access publishing and referencing

“49.9% of papers published in 2019 and 2020 are currently available as OA and 51.3% of references from all papers published during those two years are to papers that are currently available as OA. These two percentages are more similar than the percentage of the papers published between 2010 and 2020 that are OA (i.e., 43.3%), suggesting that the OA percentage of the references of papers is not simply a reflection of the access status of the available papers. When we investigate by OA access type, we observe a similar pattern. The exception is gold OA, with a difference of 9.2 percentage points as opposed to 11.9 percentage points. The results suggest that references in recent papers are more open than one would expect, given OA publication practices in the last decade and that they are more open that the publications in which they appear. This demonstrates that the use of OA exceeds the production of it.”

Preprints in Chemistry: a Research Team’s Journey** – Ciriminna – ChemistryOpen – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  The benefits of publishing research papers first in preprint form are substantial and long-lasting also in chemistry. Recounting the outcomes of our team’s nearly six-year journey through preprint publishing, we show evidence that preprinting research substantially benefits both early career and senior researchers in today’s highly interdisciplinary chemical research. These findings are of general value, as shown by analyzing the case of four more research teams based in economically developed and developing countries.


Hepatitis of unknown origin in children: Why and how to create an open access database – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  During the early stages of an epidemic, obtaining reliable data is a challenge, especially on a global scale. The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of having “open data” (i.e., data which are made accessible and available in a standardized machine-readable format and under a license that allows it to be re-used and reshared) to inform health policy decisions and improve clinical trials. The main goal of our work is to provide effective, timely and comprehensive data to investigate this emerging virus, i.e., the acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children. These data can be used: 1) to conduct real-time situation analysis, and early and timely diagnosis for effective containment; 2) to facilitate coordination and collaboration between national and local governments; 3) to inform citizens on the spread of the disease in the world; and 4) to support governments in the future prevention decisions.


Readership boost for monographs after British Academy switches to Open Access | The British Academy

“The British Academy has published its first Open Access monograph as part of efforts to widen the reach of the scholarship it funds….

The British Academy Monographs series has been published since 1998 in partnership with Oxford University Press. It provides an opportunity for Academy-supported early career researchers to produce substantial contributions to scholarship. The Academy has published an Open Access Journal since 2013 but this is the first time it has done so for its monographs….”

Early sharing not the only driver for preprint use | Research Information

“But what is interesting, is that while early sharing came out as important for authors, it is not their only driving motivator when using and selecting such services and adopting more open research practices. Authors are looking for more integrated services and want those platforms to offer multiple features that not only enhance the sharing, development and discoverability of their work, but also enable them to track and monitor its progress:   

Transparency was the top feature for authors when selecting an integrated preprint service:

71 per cent of authors said that greater transparency of the peer review process at journals was useful. Through its integration with peer review, In Review enables authors to see specific details of peer review and track their article, providing a high level of transparency into an often ‘hidden’ process.

50 per cent of authors said that the more transparent the service was, the more they felt it was credible, as it enabled greater accountability for the journal

Integrated early sharing – authors surveyed stated that ease of use (69 per cent) and being able to share their manuscript as a preprint at the same time as submitting it to a journal (BMC/ Springer journals) (83 per cent) had an impact on where they choose to take their work. We also learnt that this type of integrated solution is attractive for researchers in LMICs and early career researchers….”

Modern geoscience publishing – GEOSCIENTIST

“The preprint is the initial version of a research article, often (but not always) before submission to a journal and before formal peer-review. Preprints help modernise geoscience by removing barriers that inhibit broad participation in the scientific process, and which are slowing progress towards a more open and transparent research culture. …

Preprints have many well-documented benefits for both researchers and the public (e.g., Bourne et al., 2017; Sarabipour et al., 2019; Pourret et al., 2020). For example, preprints enable:


• Rapid sharing of research results, which can be critical for time-sensitive studies (such as after disasters), as well as for early career researchers applying for jobs, or any academic applying for grants or a promotion, given that journal-led peer review can take many months to years;
• Greater visibility and accessibility for research outputs, given there is no charge for posting or reading a preprint, especially for those who do not have access to pay-walled journals, or limited access due to remote working (such as during lockdowns);
• Additional peer feedback beyond that provided by journal-led peer review, enhancing the possibility of collaboration via community input and discussion;
• Researchers to establish priority (or a precedent) on their results, mitigating the chance of being ‘scooped’;
• Breakdown of the silos that traditional journals uphold, by exposing us to broader research than we might encounter otherwise, and giving a home to works that do not have a clear destination in a traditional publication;
• Research to be more open and transparent, with the intention of improving the overall quality, integrity, and reproducibility of results. …”

Profiteure von Open Access außerhalb der Wissenschaft oder: Warum ist Open Access auch als Arbeitsfeld für öffentliche Bibliotheken interessant? · WissKom2022: Wie macht ihr das? – Öffentliche und wissenschaftliche Bibliotheken im Dialog

From Google’s English:  Abstract:  “Open Access” is primarily understood as a field of work for academic libraries, since the first definitions – such as those of the Budapest Open Access Initiative – are aimed at academic, peer-reviewed literature. At the latest with the emergence of activities on Open Science and the transfer of opening to the entire research cycle, including the inclusion of stakeholder groups outside of science (keyword: “Citizen Science”), it is becoming increasingly clear that the circle of those who benefit from Open Access benefit, are not only to be found in research and in related areas. The article shows the main actors who also benefit from free access to scientific literature outside of science. Subsequently, possible fields of work are reflected and initial discussion impulses are given as to the extent to which “Open Access” can also be a field of work for public libraries.

Open science and public trust in science: Results from two studies – Tom Rosman, Michael Bosnjak, Henning Silber, Joanna Koßmann, Tobias Heycke, 2022

Abstract:  In two studies, we examined whether open science practices, such as making materials, data, and code of a study openly accessible, positively affect public trust in science. Furthermore, we investigated whether the potential trust-damaging effects of research being funded privately (e.g. by a commercial enterprise) may be buffered by such practices. After preregistering six hypotheses, we conducted a survey study (Study 1; N?=?504) and an experimental study (Study 2; N?=?588) in two German general population samples. In both studies, we found evidence for the positive effects of open science practices on trust, though it should be noted that in Study 2, results were more inconsistent. We did not however find evidence for the aforementioned buffering effect. We conclude that while open science practices may contribute to increasing trust in science, the importance of making use of open science practices visible should not be underestimated.

The OA Advantage

“Join our team as they guide you through the basics of open access (OA), highlight key benefits for your research, and present evidence of the increased impact of choosing OA.

We will also explore funding options for publishing OA, including how to benefit from publishing agreements with your institution….”

Monitoring progress towards Open Science as the new norm: First results from the EOSC Observatory

“Monitoring National Contributions to the EOSC

• Understand to what extent open science policies and practices are progressively implemented

• Assess and deepen understanding of the positive impacts brought by these policies and practices.

• Mutual learning through more data, in-depth discussions and matchmaking of policies, strategies and best practices

• Next iteration: extended survey including all open science elements and content …”