Responsible dissemination of health and medical research: some guidance points | BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine

“Traditionally, research results were first shared within the scientific community, and then ‘translated’ into lay language for policymakers and other audiences via the media, policy briefs, lobbying. Today, preprints6 and press releases7 often come first. Dissemination of research findings to research participants and communities requires contextualised approaches and have been explored elsewhere.4 Similarly, trial registries8 and data sharing are explored elsewhere in this series. Here, we navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by dissemination through peer-review publications, abstracts, preprints, press release, media coverage and social media…”

Alignment of Top-Down Policies With Emerging Bottom-Up Practices: A Commentary on “(Why) Are Open Research Practices the Future for the Study of Language Learning?”

Abstract: In their article, Marsden and Morgan-Short comprehensively review the current state and development trajectories for key areas within open research practices, both in general as well as more particularly in the context of language sciences. As the article reveals, the scope of open research practices is enormous and essentially touches upon every aspect of performing and interacting with research. The authors touch upon the lack of an established metascience within language sciences that would help inform and guide development of research practices, but, as I see it, the problem is universal, and there would be benefit in creating a stronger and more cohesive metascience discipline in general. While researchers have established practices of research, education, and dedicated scholarly communication outlets within the philosophy of science, history of science, information science, and higher education policy, metascience has remained an area where the discussion is highly distributed and appears sporadically across diverse research disciplines. As Marsden and Morgan-Short’s review demonstrates, there are a lot of open questions relating to how to move forward on a global scale in the best interest of research and researchers. A more cohesive core of metascience would aid in the creation of immediately useful knowledge.

Alternative forms of peer feedback (s03e08)

“Today, we would like to chat specifically about how an alternative peer review system might look, or how alternative forms of peer review, might look and what questions come up, what forms might they take? Do we even want to call that peer review and to simply have the space and create the space to explore these alternatives without the pressure of coming up with a final proposal that we can implement after this episode….”

eLife’s New Model: Initial three-month update | Inside eLife | eLife

“eLife’s new approach to publishing has been open for submissions since the end of January this year. During that time, we’ve been encouraged by the positive feedback from the scientific community and there has been a lot of interest in how it’s working and what we are learning behind the scenes.

To monitor the progress of the new model, we are working with the team at Incentivizing Collaborative and Open Research (ICOR) to analyse the data we are collecting with regards to submissions, disciplines and attitudes towards publishing. ICOR is building a collaborative research culture by strategising, connecting and implementing projects that seek to change the status quo of competition throughout the research cycle.

In this joint blog, we review what we have seen in the first three months* and reflect on what we have learnt so far. It has always been our intention to be transparent about the rollout of the new model and so, whilst this is very early data which we cannot draw firm conclusions from, we felt it was important to share at this stage. We plan to reflect a much fuller picture six months from the launch when we have collected more representative data….’

PREreview and CRNEUR launch a collaborative and community-based review pilot

“We are thrilled to announce a new collaboration between PREreview and Current Research in Neurobiology (CRNEUR)—a gold open access journal that publishes original research in neuroscience. Together we will host 5 open, collaborative, and interactive review events styled after PREreview Live-streamed Preprint Journal Clubs….

PREreview has long partnered with the community to host and facilitate what we call Live-streamed Preprint Journal Clubs—topic-centered, interactive online calls in which participants are guided to provide constructive feedback to a preprint.

CRNEUR is a gold open access journal from Elsevier that seeks to be a leader in innovative open access publishing, working to improve global research culture and public engagement in neuroscience research. With this pilot, the CRNEUR editorial team is keen to explore how the open and collaborative aspect of the PREreview Live-streamed Journal Club conducted alongside more traditional peer review can contribute to their mission….”

Publishers can’t be blamed for clinging to the golden goose

“In the old pre-digital days of [scholarly] publishing, the true costs of providing print-on-paper to would-be users required the services of another profession for the production and delivery. But (let’s cut to the quick) those days are over, forever. Online publication is not altogether cost-free, but the costs are so ridiculously low that all an S&S author needs pay for is a blog service-provider, rather like a phone or email service provider.

In this world, the idea of paying a £2,700 (US$3,400) per article fee to publish is as grotesque as it is gratuitous….

So, you should ask, with online publishing costs near zero, and quality control provided gratis by peer reviewers, what could possibly explain, let alone justify, levying a fee on S&S authors trying to publish their give-away articles to report their give-away findings?

The answer is not as complicated as you may be imagining, but the answer is shocking: the culprits are not the publishers but the S&S authors, their institutions and their funders! The publishers are just businessmen trying to make a buck. In fact, £2,700 is the same amount they were making per article before the online-access era, in the Gutenberg era of print-on-paper….

The publishers’ golden goose had been successfully converted to ‘Fool’s-Gold OA’ (open access), meaning continuing to pay the obsolete costs at the same price, but as author-end fees for publication instead of user-end subscription fees for access. (‘Fair-Gold OA’ would have been to charge only the tiny fee for managing the peer review.)

The publishers are to be congratulated for successfully pulling off this scam, with the obsolete 40% mark-up of £2,700 per article in exchange for next to nothing suspended above by a skyhook, gloating, like the Cheshire Cat’s smile.

It is not as if the S&S community had no other choice. ‘Green OA’ self-archiving had been offered to them as an alternative, with the University of Southampton providing the free software for creating Green OA institutional repositories as well as the model for institutional and funder mandates that would require all university researchers and all recipients of research funding to self-archive their refereed research therein, immediately upon acceptance for publication (‘or perish’)….

That policy would have forced the publishers to downsize to the minimal remaining costs of managing peer review. But superstition (and habit, and digital laziness – of the fingers) prevailed, and the publishers are still laughing all the way to the bank.”

The Preprint Club: A blueprint for community?based peer review: EMBO reports: Vol 0, No 0

“Here, we would like to discuss how journal clubs could play a role in reviewing preprints. Journal clubs are ubiquitous in academia as nearly every department, institute, or even research group organize one to discuss the latest published research; in fact, journal clubs may be better served by discussing and reviewing preprints instead of already peer-reviewed research. Moreover, it provides a safe environment for ECRs to train their peer reviewing skills (Avasthi et al, 2018). With that in mind, we, a group of ECRs from the immunology departments of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the University of Oxford—later joined by peers from the Karolinska Institute and the University of Toronto—established the Preprint Club in 2020 to discuss manuscripts from the field of immunology….”

Ferwerda et. al. (2023) Open Access to Books – the Perspective of a Non-profit Infrastructure Provider | The Journal of Electronic Publishing

Ferwerda, E. & Snijder, R. & Stern, N., (2023) “Open Access to Books – the Perspective of a Non-profit Infrastructure Provider”, The Journal of Electronic Publishing 26(1). doi:


This article describes the open access (OA) book platforms OAPEN Library and Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), based on 1.the development and activities of OAPEN in the first ten years; 2. the underlying technical approach behind the platforms; 3. the current role of OAPEN and DOAB and future outlook.

OAPEN started out as a project funded by the European Commission, and become a legal non-profit Dutch entity in 2011. It hosts, disseminates and preserves open access books. OA book publishing has been explored in several pilot projects. Its current collection contains over 24,000 documents. DOAB launched in 2012, inspired and supported by DOAJ. It became a legal non-profit Dutch entity in 2019, owned by the OAPEN Foundationand OpenEdition. It’s current collection contains close to 60,000 titles.

The data model of both platforms  is optimised for a multilingual collection and supports funding information. Ingesting books has been optimised to support a wide array of publishers and the dissemination of books takes into account search engines; libraries and aggregators and other organisations. The usage has grown in the last years, to 1 million downloads per month.

The future developments entail increased support of research funders with the establishment of a FunderForum and multi-year research into policy development. DOAB will invest more in bibliodiversity, by adding more emphasis on African and Asian countries. Also,DOAB will roll out its Peer Review Information Service for Monographs (PRISM).

OAPEN and DOAB will continue to work on developing reliable infrastructures, policy development and quality assurance around open access books.


Identifying the characteristics of excellent peer reviewers by using Publons | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This study aimed to identify the characteristics of excellent peer reviewers by using (an open and free online peer review website).


Reviewers of the clinical medicine field on Publons were selected as the sample (n = 1,864). A logistic regression model was employed to examine the data.


The results revealed that reviewers’ verified reviews, verified editor records, and whether they were the Publons mentors had significant and positive associations with excellent peer reviewers, while their research performance (including the number of articles indexed by Web of Science (WOS), citations, H-index and high-cited researcher), genders, words per review, number of current/past editorial boards, whether they had experiences of post-publication review on Publons and whether they were Publons academy graduates had no significant associations with excellent peer reviewers.


This study could help journals find excellent peer reviewers from free and open online platforms.

Plan E for Education: open access to educational materials created in publicly funded universities – Insights

Abstract:  Plan E for Education is my proposal that a proportion of the educational resources generated in publicly funded universities be made freely available for sharing and use by others. Thus, high quality education, produced through public funding, could be made available to other universities and individual autodidacts and for the development of innovative educational delivery methods. This would be the educational equivalent of initiatives that require publicly funded research to be published in open access journals or platforms. Available educational resources would involve whole or sections of courses including assessments, not just isolated resources.

Plan E would require the establishment and curation of open repositories and might consider a peer review system for educational materials to mirror that already used for research publications. Academic credit could then flow to those who publish and review educational resources and extend to other academic input such as updating the work and creating instructional materials.

There is considerable expertise and enthusiasm for, as well as successful examples of, open access education globally, but this is unevenly spread, and its adoption is hindered by factors at institutional and individual educator levels. Most university-generated educational material is still kept behind institutional paywalls. If we accept the need for change so that, as for research outputs, educational resources become open to access, Plan E might provide the global impetus for such change and make a contribution to reducing inequality in access to higher education.

Current concerns on journal article with preprint: Korean Journal of Internal Medicine perspectives

Abstract:  Preprints are preliminary research reports that have not yet been peer-reviewed. They have been widely adopted to promote the timely dissemination of research across many scientific fields. In August 1991, Paul Ginsparg launched an electronic bulletin board intended to serve a few hundred colleagues working in a subfield of theoretical high-energy physics, thus launching arXiv, the first and largest preprint platform. Additional preprint servers have since been implemented in different academic fields, such as BioRxiv (2013, Biology; and medRxiv (2019, Health Science; While preprint availability has made valuable research resources accessible to the general public, thus bridging the gap between academic and non-academic audiences, it has also facilitated the spread of unsupported conclusions through various media channels. Issues surrounding the preprint policies of a journal must be addressed, ultimately, by editors and include the acceptance of preprint manuscripts, allowing the citation of preprints, maintaining a double-blind peer review process, changes to the preprint’s content and authors’ list, scoop priorities, commenting on preprints, and preventing the influence of social media. Editors must be able to deal with these issues adequately, to maintain the scientific integrity of their journal. In this review, the history, current status, and strengths and weaknesses of preprints as well as ongoing concerns regarding journal articles with preprints are discussed. An optimal approach to preprints is suggested for editorial board members, authors, and researchers.


OSF Preprints | Advancing the culture of peer review with preprints

Abstract:  Preprints enable new forms of peer review that have the potential to be more thorough, inclusive, and collegial. In December 2022, 80 researchers and representatives of funders, institutions, preprint servers, journals, indexers, and review services were invited to gather online and at the Janelia Research Campus for a workshop on Recognizing Preprint Peer Review. Sponsored by HHMI, ASAPbio, and EMBO, this meeting aimed to catalyze community consensus and support for preprint peer review and to create model funder, institutional, and journal policies that recognize both preprints with reviews, and reviews of preprints. Here, we make a call to action to stakeholders in the community to help capture the growing momentum of preprint sharing and empower researchers to provide open and constructive peer review for preprints.

bioRxiv and medRxiv response to the OSTP memo – an open letter to US funding agencies

“Agencies can enable free public access to research results simply by mandating that reports of federally funded research are made available as “preprints” on servers such as arXiv, bioRxiv, medRxiv, and chemRxiv, before being submitted for journal publication. This will ensure that the findings are freely accessible to anyone anywhere in the world. An important additional benefit is the immediate availability of the information, avoiding the long delays associated with evaluation by traditional scientific journals (typically around one year). Scientific inquiry then progresses faster, as has been particularly evident for COVID research during the pandemic.

Prior access mandates in the US and elsewhere have focused on articles published by academic journals. This complicated the issue by making it a question of how to adapt journal revenue streams and led to the emergence of new models based on article-processing charges (APCs). But APCs simply move the access barrier to authors: they are a significant financial obstacle for researchers in fields and communities that lack the funding to pay them. A preprint mandate would achieve universal access for both authors and readers upstream, ensuring the focus remains on providing access to research findings, rather than on how they are selected and filtered.

Mandating public access to preprints rather than articles in academic journals would also future-proof agencies’ access policies. The distinction between peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed material is blurring as new approaches make peer review an ongoing process rather than a judgment made at a single point in time. Peer review can be conducted independently of journals through initiatives like Review Commons. And traditional journal-based peer review is changing: for example, eLife, supported by several large funders, peer reviews submitted papers but no longer distinguishes accepted from rejected articles. The author’s “accepted” manuscript that is the focus of so-called Green Open Access policies may therefore no longer exist. Because of such ongoing change, mandating the free availability of preprints would be a straightforward and strategically astute policy for US funding agencies.

A preprint mandate would underscore the fundamental, often overlooked, point that it is the results of research to which the public should have access. The evaluation of that research by journals is part of an ongoing process of assessment that can take place after the results have been made openly available. Preprint mandates from the funders of research would also widen the possibilities for evolution within the system and avoid channeling it towards expensive APC-based publishing models. Furthermore, since articles on preprint servers can be accompanied by supplementary data deposits on the servers themselves or linked to data deposited elsewhere, preprint mandates would also provide mechanisms to accomplish the other important OSTP goal: availability of research data.”

Open Access without Open Access Values: The State of Free and Open Access to Law Reviews

“This study examines 648 currently published law journals to determine the amount of freely available content and whether the journals have adopted open access behaviors. Although most of the journals have volumes available online for free, the usual hallmarks of open access, including open licenses and clear reuse policies, are absent.”