Celebrating 30 Years of arXiv and Its Lasting Legacy on Scientific Advancement – SPARC

“Sharing preprints – the preliminary versions of scientific manuscripts before peer-review and publication in an academic journal—over the internet was a new concept in 1991 when Paul Ginsparg launched the preprint server arXiv. This was before the World Wide Web took off, and there was skepticism about the transition to digital content.

Ginsparg’s idea was to level the global research playing field by providing access to the latest research results. Thirty years later, the free distribution service and open-access archive now has nearly 2 million scholarly papers.

The success of arXiv not only proved there was a demand in high-energy physics, but it has finally prompted other fields from mathematics to biological sciences to sociology to follow suit. Now, preprints in a variety of disciplines are accelerating discovery and demonstrating, more than ever during the global pandemic, the urgent need for information sharing in real time.

The work of arXiv has been important to the development of Open Access (OA) . Indeed, the OA movement was almost called Open Archive, says Melissa Hagemann, senior program officer with the Open Society Foundations. She was inspired to organize a meeting 20 years ago that led to the Budapest Open Access Initiative, in part, because arXiv demonstrated what was possible in disseminating academic research outside of a subscription-based model….”

Biophysics Colab brings review and curation to biophysical preprints on Sciety

“Sciety is pleased to announce that Biophysics Colab, the latest group to be added to the platform, is driving forward its innovative experiment in the review and curation of new research posted as preprints.

Developed by a team within the non-profit initiative eLife, Sciety is a growing network where the latest biomedical and life science preprints are transparently evaluated and curated by communities of experts in one convenient place. These communities include PREreview, Peer Community In, Review Commons, eLife, the Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium and more. Following its addition to Sciety earlier this year, the non-profit Biophysics Colab is now regularly publishing preprint reviews on the platform….”

Brave New Publishing World | The Scientist Magazine®

“This simply means that journalistic outlets, members of the public, researchers, politicians, and other interested parties must be extra vigilant when considering findings reported in preprints. Mullins, who is also the editor in chief of open-access journal Toxicology Communications (and my next-door neighbor), and other scientists offer several suggestions for this proper contextualization of preprints on the part of the research community. Giving preprints DOI numbers that expire after a set time instead of the permanent DOIs they now receive, referring to them as an “unrefereed manuscripts,” or emblazoning each page of preprints with a warning label that alerts readers to the unreviewed nature of the paper may well help to present preprints as those first drafts of science.

On the journalism side, it’s imperative that newsrooms at media behemoths and niche publications alike adopt policies that strike a balance—between rapidly communicating valuable information and disseminating well-founded scientific insights—by appropriately contextualizing and vetting findings reported in preprints. At The Scientist, we have done just this, and our policies regarding preprints are posted on the Editorial Policies page of www.the-scientist.com. Please head there to review the specifics, and feel free to share your thoughts and comments on our social media channels. In my opinion, preprints and the servers that host them do still harbor a promise and utility that may help when the next global health emergency comes knocking. The scientific community, the public, the press, and the political sphere must adjust our views and treatment of these first drafts of science so that we avoid the pitfalls and reap the benefits of a more direct communication of research findings.”

Preprinting is positively associated with early career researcher status in ecology and evolution – Wolf – 2021 – Ecology and Evolution – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  The usage of preprint servers in ecology and evolution is increasing, allowing research to be rapidly disseminated and available through open access at no cost. Early Career Researchers (ECRs) often have limited experience with the peer review process, which can be challenging when trying to build publication records and demonstrate research ability for funding opportunities, scholarships, grants, or faculty positions. ECRs face different challenges relative to researchers with permanent positions and established research programs. These challenges might also vary according to institution size and country, which are factors associated with the availability of funding for open access journals. We predicted that the career stage and institution size impact the relative usage of preprint servers among researchers in ecology and evolution. Using data collected from 500 articles (100 from each of two open access journals, two closed access journals, and a preprint server), we showed that ECRs generated more preprints relative to non-ECRs, for both first and last authors. We speculate that this pattern is reflective of the advantages of quick and open access research that is disproportionately beneficial to ECRs. There is also a marginal association between first author, institution size, and preprint usage, whereby the number of preprints tends to increase with institution size for ECRs. The United States and United Kingdom contributed the greatest number of preprints by ECRs, whereas non-Western countries contributed relatively fewer preprints. This empirical evidence that preprint usage varies with the career stage, institution size, and country helps to identify barriers surrounding large-scale adoption of preprinting in ecology and evolution.


Preprint servers in lipidology current status and future role

Abstract:  Purpose of review 

Preprinting, or the sharing of non-peer reviewed, unpublished scholarly manuscripts, has exploded in all fields of science and medicine over the past 5 years. We searched the literature and evaluated the posting and uptake of preprint publications in the field of lipidology in bioRxiv and medRxiv servers. We also contacted the editorial offices of 20 journals that publish original research in lipidology to gauge their policies on preprints.


All 20 journals contacted indicated that they accepted preprints. As of 31 May 2021, 473 and 231 preprints in lipidology had been submitted to bioRxiv and medRxiv, respectively. About half of all lipidology preprints were related to cardiovascular, cardiometabolic, and/or metabolic diseases (CVMD) and their risk factors, but at least 12 other disease categories were also represented. 16.9% and 1.08% of medRxiv and bioRxiv preprints, respectively, were related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


All identified journals accept lipidology themed preprints for submission, removing any barriers authors may have had regarding preprinting. Based on growing experience with preprinting, this trend should encourage increased community feedback and facilitate higher quality lipidology research in the future.

Is Scientific Communication Fit for Purpose? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“One of the most notable effects of the open movement has been an array of mechanisms that provide unmediated access to reviewed — and unreviewed — work. As a result, scientific communications with peers is now not only publicly available but widely exploitable by those who wish to foster misinformation and public discord. A consequence is that the scientific research enterprise — and in particular journal editors and publishers — are becoming responsible not only for facilitating peer to peer communications but also for public access. As such, they are grappling with the upstream exploitations and downstream public communications and misinformation which were previously squarely outside their remit. And, publishers are also getting cut out of the loop altogether, as scientific findings are increasingly being communicated first by press release….”

Expanding our global capacity for preprint sharing – COAR

“In the past, institutional and generalist repositories have not played a significant role in hosting these objects. However, as the sharing of preprints becomes more widely embraced, these types of repositories are obvious mechanisms to expand the preprint ecosystem internationally, without having to launch many new preprint services.

In August/September 2021, ASAPbio and COAR conducted a survey of institutional and generalist repositories to gauge their current activities and future plans related to the collection of preprints. We received 118 responses, with over 65% of respondents indicating that they already have preprints in their collection. In addition, of those respondents that do not currently collect preprints, over 65% indicated that they plan to do so in the future. According to the survey, practices are quite varied in terms of the services related to preprints provided by these repositories. Most support linking to the published journal version of the article, and about half of them assign DOIs (though it is common practice for most repositories to assign permanent URL, such as a handle). However, other services common in domain preprint archives, such as support for versioning, linking to external peer review services, and basic screening, are less common. A more detailed report of the survey findings will be available soon.

COAR and ASAPbio recognize that it is important these repositories are able to respond to the needs of the research community when collecting preprints. To that end, we will be launching a working group with the aim of understanding current challenges, developing some good practice recommendations, and creating a plan to advance the adoption of the functionalities that support the collection of preprints in institutional and generalist repositories.”

Preprints: Accelerating Research

“What are preprints, and how are they changing how biomedical research results are shared? Should you use information from preprints? Should you share your own research results in a preprint? This course from the National Library of Medicine® explains the basics of preprints, and explores the benefits and considerations of using and submitting preprints….”

bioRxiv & medRxiv; Communicating at the Speed of Science

“Preprint servers bioRxiv & medRxiv have experienced unprecedented growth and attention during these past 18 months as they have contributed to the scientific community’s collaborative response to the present international health crisis. The frequent reports in mass-media outlets alone, after January 2020, demonstrate that bioRxiv and medRxiv are becoming recognized Open Science digital repositories that are at the center of rapidly disseminating scientific research freely throughout the world.

Please join us on Oct 26th at 11am for our inaugural session during Open Access Week 2021 as the Harvard Library welcomes Richard Sever, Assistant Director Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press & Co-founder of the preprint servers bioRxiv and medRxiv. Dr. Sever will share his observations and reflections on the exponential growth and impact that preprints have had on advancing scientific communication during this unprecedented time.”

‘New journals concept’ from CUP’s Research Directions | The Bookseller

“Cambridge University Press is launching an initiative it describes as a “new concept” for the journal, bringing researchers from different fields together to explore fundamental questions which cut across traditional disciplines.

Research Directions is the brainchild of Fiona Hutton, CUP executive publisher and its head of STM Open Access publishing. A former research scientist, Hutton wants to provide alternatives to traditional journal formats and bring communities together to frame research to problems that no one discipline would be able to tackle alone, said the publisher.

CUP said the approach would “speed discovery by fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing between subject communities” as well as provide “opportunities to publish research from areas not well served by traditional, discipline-specific journals”. 

The first titles under the Research Directions banner will be published in 2022, with an initial set of questions to answer, informed by feedback from hundreds of researchers. The publishing model will “mirror the research lifecycle”, with the results, analysis and impact reviews all published as separate, Open Access, peer-reviewed and citable outputs on CUP’s Cambridge Core platform….”

All Things PrePrints: An Introduction

“The last year has seen a global spike in health and life science preprints. In June of 2020 the NIH even launched a pilot project to include COVID-19 related preprints in PubMed search results. This librarian shop talk will cover preprint definitions, how to locate them, and their impact as part of the biomedical research corpus. The event will conclude with discussion and myth busting of common concerns so librarians can talk knowledgeably with their users all things preprints at their own institutions. Two brief interactive break-outs will encourage participants to review the scope of preprints at their own institutions and address other common elements of concern.”


A Checklist for Submitting Your Research to arXiv | by Liz Maag-Capriotti | Oct, 2021 | Towards Data Science

arXiv is a popular open-access archive of scholarly articles that has operated for the last 30 years and includes research in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics. arXiv has helped open science through pre-prints and improved global collaboration by allowing authors to share knowledge earlier in the scientific process and gain feedback on their research and ideas. Today arXiv remains one of the largest and exponentially growing preprint services.

Lessons from the pandemic: Embrace ‘open science,’ confront exclusion of investigators

“Will this trend to freely disseminate research papers prior to peer review and their acceptance by journals be sustained after the pandemic, when the sense of urgency recedes? I certainly hope so. This would be a lasting, beneficial consequence of the pandemic. By reducing the power of the journals to hold research hostage through long and often unnecessarily contentious peer review, preprints not only speed up the process but also democratize science for some in other parts the world who do not have access to expensive journal subscriptions.”

Four years of chemistry preprints | Feature | Chemistry World

“Then, in August 2017, two things happened. First, the SSRN preprint server (originally for social sciences and currently run by publishing giant Elsevier) launched an offshoot called the Chemistry Research Network (ChemRN). Then, a week or so later, ChemRxiv was launched by the American Chemical Society (ACS) – it is now run as a collaboration between the ACS, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the chemical societies of China, Japan and Germany….

Neither was initially welcomed with wholly open arms into the chemistry community. An insistence – especially from some journal editors – that depositing work caused it to lose the required novelty to warrant publication in their journals was the biggest issue, explains Donna Blackmond, a professor of chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in California, US, and a member of the ChemRxiv scientific advisory board.


At the start, some chemistry journals accepted submissions that had been preprinted, some did not and many others left authors guessing by not having a preprint policy at all. It took about year for all the chemistry journals to accept preprints, says Blackmond. The ACS flagship journal, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, held out the longest….

Four years after their launch, the preprint servers are now finding their feet in the chemistry community. In 2020, 5137 preprints were posted on ChemRxiv and 3538 on ChemRN. The same year, ChemRxiv preprints were accessed a total of 16,120,921 times and ChemRN pre-prints downloaded 499,553 times….”