Introducing PReF: Preprint Review Features – ASAPbio

“Preprint reviews hold the potential to build trust in preprints and drive innovation in peer review. However, the variety of platforms available to contribute comments and reviews on preprints means that it can be difficult for readers to gain a clear picture of the process that led to the reviews linked to a particular preprint. 

To address this, ASAPbio organized a working group to develop a set of features that could describe preprint review processes in a way that is simple to implement. We are proud to share Preprint Review Features (PReF) in an OSF Preprint. PReF consists of 8 key-value pairs, describing the key elements of preprint review. The white paper includes detailed definitions for each feature, an implementation guide, and an overview of how the characteristics of active preprint review projects map to PReF. We also developed a set of graphic icons (below) that we encourage the preprint review community to reuse alongside PReF. 

While the Peer Review Terminology developed by the STM working group and the Open Peer Review taxonomy provided useful background for our discussions, they were designed with a focus on journal-based peer review, and do not capture all the possible elements that can be part of preprint review. We acknowledge that there are nuances and different views as to what constitutes “peer review,” “feedback,” and “commenting;” rather than create strict definitions, our aim was to parse out important aspects of the process involved in any form of review on preprints, and to do so in a format that could be used by platforms that host, coordinate, or aggregate such activities. Therefore, we are glad to see that PReF is already implemented on ReimagineReview and on review aggregators like Early Evidence Base and Sciety. We hope that our efforts in the development and adoption of PReF will promote better visibility and discoverability of preprint review….”

Research assessment frameworks in India: Assessing the role of preprints – ASAPbio

“Preprints are increasingly used, but we know that their use varies widely across geographical regions (Abdill et al.). The countries where the use of preprints is most widespread overlap with those where funding organizations and institutions have signaled support for preprints for the dissemination of research works.

India is among the countries with a highest research output but research assessment frameworks in that region do not yet generally recognize preprints. To help us collect information for how we can drive further support for preprints in India, ASAPbio, Open Access India and IndiaBioscience will be hosting an online workshop exploring research assessment in India and how preprints can fit into various research assessment frameworks, such as academic hiring, promotion, funding and tenure.

The goals of the webinar are:

Understand challenges around current assessment frameworks in India
Explore the opportunities that preprints bring to research assessment frameworks
Develop ideas to address those opportunities, as well as any challenges in implementation…”

An Open-Publishing Response to the COVID-19 Infodemic – PMC

Abstract:  The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed the rapid dissemination of papers and preprints investigating the disease and its associated virus, SARS-CoV-2. The multifaceted nature of COVID-19 demands a multidisciplinary approach, but the urgency of the crisis combined with the need for social distancing measures present unique challenges to collaborative science. We applied a massive online open publishing approach to this problem using Manubot. Through GitHub, collaborators summarized and critiqued COVID-19 literature, creating a review manuscript. Manubot automatically compiled citation information for referenced preprints, journal publications, websites, and clinical trials. Continuous integration workflows retrieved up-to-date data from online sources nightly, regenerating some of the manuscript’s figures and statistics. Manubot rendered the manuscript into PDF, HTML, LaTeX, and DOCX outputs, immediately updating the version available online upon the integration of new content. Through this effort, we organized over 50 scientists from a range of backgrounds who evaluated over 1,500 sources and developed seven literature reviews. While many efforts from the computational community have focused on mining COVID-19 literature, our project illustrates the power of open publishing to organize both technical and non-technical scientists to aggregate and disseminate information in response to an evolving crisis.

Frontiers | The Academic, Societal and Animal Welfare Benefits of Open Science for Animal Science | Veterinary Science

Abstract:  Animal science researchers have the obligation to reduce, refine, and replace the usage of animals in research (3R principles). Adherence to these principles can be improved by transparently publishing research findings, data and protocols. Open Science (OS) can help to increase the transparency of many parts of the research process, and its implementation should thus be considered by animal science researchers as a valuable opportunity that can contribute to the adherence to these 3R-principles. With this article, we want to encourage animal science researchers to implement a diverse set of OS practices, such as Open Access publishing, preprinting, and the pre-registration of test protocols, in their workflows.


SciELO Preprints server completes two years of operation, contributing to the advancement of Open Science | SciELO in Perspective

The positioning of the SciELO Program as an open science program, provided for the creation of a preprints’ server, announced in 2017. In September 2018, during the SciELO 20 Years Week, the partnership between SciELO and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) was launched with the objective of developing an open source preprints server based on the already consolidated Open Journal Systems (OJS).

Open and Shut?: The OA interviews: Richard Gallagher, President & Editor-in-Chief, Annual Reviews

“Annual Reviews (AR) recently announced that over the next 18 months it aims to make its entire portfolio of 51 academic journals freely available under a new journal publication model known as Subscribe to Open (S2O).

Annual Reviews is a pioneer of S2O, having first trialled it in 2017 with its journal Annual Review of Public Health. A number of AR’s other journals have subsequently been converted to S2O and the publisher is now hoping to migrate its entire journal portfolio to the new model….

In light of AR’s announcement, I emailed a number of questions to the President & Editor-in-Chief of AR, Richard Gallagher. Those questions, and Gallagher’s replies, are published below….”

Why preprints are good for patients | Nature Medicine

“Rapid communication of clinical trial results has likely saved lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and should become the new norm….

But during health emergencies, there are many tensions, one of which is the mismatch between the urgent need for information and evidence and the much longer time frames of scientific peer review and publication. The COVID-19 pandemic is the first global health emergency of the new information age, with data and results widely shared via social media. This has resulted in very real difficulties in distinguishing important information from noise, and real news from fake news. How should the research and medical community best manage this new reality?…

Some may argue that the speed advantage of preprints does not outweigh the risks of poor-quality, misleading or even fraudulent research being published and acted upon. I would counter that clinicians should not rely solely on peer review to assess the validity and meaningfulness of research findings. This is because dubious, perhaps fraudulent data can still get through peer review, as was seen with early COVID papers published and then retracted from two of the most prestigious medical journals. In addition, even valid data can be misleading. There has been an avalanche of observational data that passed peer review and was then used to justify treatments, most notably with hydroxychloroquine, but the susceptibility of observational methodology to moderate biases means that such data should not be the basis of patient care.

I take two lessons from our experience running the largest COVID-19 clinical trial over the last two years. The first is that that the preprint system has come of age, demonstrating huge value in rapidly communicating important research findings. Almost daily I am alerted through social media alerts from trusted sources and colleagues of important new findings published as preprints. A degree of immediate peer review is also available by means of the preprint comments section and from colleagues via social media. The full peer-reviewed manuscripts usually appear many weeks or even months later. I cannot envisage a future without such rapid dissemination of new evidence.


Given this new reality, the second lesson is that we must ensure that the medical community and policy makers are sufficiently skilled in critical thinking and scientific methods that they can make sensible decisions, regardless of whether an article is peer reviewed or not.”

Need for universal acceptance of preprinting by editors of journals of health professional education | SpringerLink

“While publishers in multiple fields are adopting preprints [2], we have discovered a great deal of confusion about the pros and cons of preprinting as well as disparity in publishers’ policies regarding preprinting in health professions education (HPE). In seeking to resolve this confusion, we documented preprint policies at 74 journals within HPE (e.g. nursing, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, rehabilitation sciences, nutrition). We culled preprint policies for 43 (58%) journals using journal websites, JISC’s Sherpa Romeo tool, and Wikipedia’s list of academic publishers by preprint policy. We then obtained information from email solicitations for an additional 27 (36%), leaving us without information for 4 (5%). Of the 70 journals for which we have information, 53 (76%) will review/accept preprinted manuscripts; 11 (16%) do not, and 6 (9%) are unclear or make decisions on a case-by-case basis. (For a link to our list of HPE journals and our understanding of their policies regarding preprinted manuscripts, see and select “Where to Publish”.) No wonder there is confusion.

We encourage our colleagues across the health professions to join our call to eliminate this confusion by encouraging all HPE journals to support and promote preprinting. The value of preprinting has only become more important during the COVID-19 pandemic [3]. Being able to preprint scholarship prior to formal submission enhances formative review and revision, augments the benefits of peer coaching, and promotes higher quality publications. Preprinting also makes work available to others more quickly, which can enhance collaboration and uptake of new ideas without compromising the eventual copyright of the final published product.”

The rise of preprints — University Affairs

“Peer review, despite its flaws, is one of the most important pillars of the scientific process. So preprint servers, which make scientific papers that have yet to be reviewed or published available online, have been slow to catch on in many fields.

But then came the pandemic.

“COVID changed everything,” says Jim Handman, executive director of the Science Media Centre of Canada. Scientists, science communicators, and journalists who had been wary of using preprints in the past suddenly felt the urgency to get important new information out as fast as possible to help deal with the unprecedented public health threat. The use of preprint servers skyrocketed. Now, everyone is adapting to this new way of working, developing best practices to harness the benefits of increased speed and wider reach while mitigating the risks of sharing unreviewed science.

Most of the time, the world of scholarly publishing moves at an almost glacial pace. New publications can take months or even years to wind their way through the process of peer review and publication. Even then, they can be hard to access for most people. So 30 years ago, some scientists started posting their work in online repositories before it had been formally reviewed and published. ArXiv, which shares research on math, physics, and astronomy, was the first to launch in 1991. It was followed by repositories for other subject areas over the next few decades….”

SurveyMonkey Powered Online Survey

“Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to this survey about eLife. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. 


We seek to transform research communication and we’d love to hear your thoughts related to initiatives we’ve got underway.

All questions are optional. Your feedback is anonymous and it will help us better understand the expectations of the community and drive change and innovation in scientific and medical publishing….”

The future of research revealed | | April 20, 2022

“The research ecosystem has been undergoing rapid and profound change, accelerated by COVID-19. This transformation is being fueled by many factors, including advances in technology, funding challenges and opportunities, political uncertainty, and new pressures on women in research. At Elsevier, we have been working with the global research community to better understand these changes and what the world of research might look like in the future. The results were published today in Elsevier’s new Research Futures Report 2.0. The report is free to read and download….”

Job: Preprint Community Manager | preLights

preLights is a preprint highlighting service that is centred around a community of early-career researchers. Launched in 2018, this initiative has gained significant attention from researchers as well as the publishing industry, being nominated for an ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing in 2019. We are now looking for the right person to join us for the next phase of community building and the site’s growth and development.

Joining an experienced and successful publishing team, this is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and motivated team player to take a step into publishing or for someone already working in publishing to extend their interest in online communities.

Applicants will have relevant research experience, ideally a PhD in a field that features in preLights’ coverage. They should have a good understanding of the needs of scientists and the growing impact of preprints in biomedical research.