Can Twitter data help in spotting problems early with publications? What retracted COVID-19 papers can teach us about science in the public sphere | Impact of Social Sciences

“Publications that are based on wrong data, methodological mistakes, or contain other types of severe errors can spoil the scientific record if they are not retracted. Retraction of publications is one of the effective ways to correct the scientific record. However, before a problematic publication can be retracted, the problem has to be found and brought to the attention of the people involved (the authors of the publication and editors of the journal). The earlier a problem with a published paper is detected, the earlier the publication can be retracted and the less wasted effort goes into new research that is based on disinformation within the scientific record. Therefore, it would be advantageous to have an early warning system that spots potential problems with published papers, or maybe even before based on a preprint version….”

NIH-Wide Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2021-2025

“NIH is committed to making findings from the research that it funds accessible and available in a timely manner, while also providing safeguards for privacy, intellectual property, security, and data management. For instance, NIH-funded investigators are expected to make the results and accomplishments of their activities freely available within 12 months of publication. NIH also encourages investigators to share results prior to peer review, such as through preprints, to speed the dissemination of their findings and enhance the rigor of their work through informal peer review. A robust culture of data sharing is critical to continued progress in science, maximizing NIH’s investment in research, and assurance of the highest levels of transparency and rigor. To this end, NIH will continue to promote opportunities for data management and sharing while allowing flexibility for various data types, sharing platforms, and strategies. Additionally, NIH is implementing a policy requiring that all applications include data sharing and management plans that consider input from stakeholders….”

Editorial policy regarding the citation of preprints in the British Journal of Pharmacology (BJP) – George – – British Journal of Pharmacology – Wiley Online Library

“Because of the increasing number of articles submitted to BJP over the past year and that cite preprint material, the Editor-In-Chief and Senior Editors with the full Editorial Board of BJP have undertaken a review of the issues and our discipline-relevant data to set policy on the issue of preprint citation for the Journal….

The discussion so far has highlighted the negative aspects of preprints, but it is important to be balanced in our considerations and to note that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the availability of preprints has been viewed as a key factor in the break-neck speed with which the biomedical research community has shared research on insights regarding the biology and clinical features of the infection, resulting in the rapid and timely delivery of much needed therapeutic options (Else, 2020)….

An excellent example is the Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial which showed the benefit of the simple and low-cost utility of dexamethasone that has saved many lives globally. The RECOVERY trial was published as a preprint on 22 June 2020 (Horby et al., 2020) and as a peer-reviewed article published as an epub in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 17th 2020 (RECOVERY collaborative group, 2021). Whilst it is highly likely that the preprint publication and sharing of the results saved lives during the short time between preprint posting and full publication, the data were made available to regulatory authorities and clinicians prior to full publication….



The Editorial Board of the BJP support the principles of preprinting. However, given the potential risks associated with allowing the citation of preprints, it is our collective view, supported by feedback received from the journal’s international Editorial Board, that BJP should take all reasonable steps to avoid perpetuating these risks….

We are aware that the issue of preprint citation is under discussion at COPE and that the British Pharmacological Society is establishing a working group to review this issue more broadly across its publications. Thus, the stated editorial position will be reviewed, and if solutions to the problems highlighted above emerge, we will revisit our policy….”

Preprints in times of COVID19: the time is ripe for agreeing on terminology and good practices | BMC Medical Ethics | Full Text

Abstract:  Over recent years, the research community has been increasingly using preprint servers to share manuscripts that are not yet peer-reviewed. Even if it enables quick dissemination of research findings, this practice raises several challenges in publication ethics and integrity. In particular, preprints have become an important source of information for stakeholders interested in COVID19 research developments, including traditional media, social media, and policy makers. Despite caveats about their nature, many users can still confuse pre-prints with peer-reviewed manuscripts. If unconfirmed but already widely shared first-draft results later prove wrong or misinterpreted, it can be very difficult to “unlearn” what we thought was true. Complexity further increases if unconfirmed findings have been used to inform guidelines. To help achieve a balance between early access to research findings and its negative consequences, we formulated five recommendations: (a) consensus should be sought on a term clearer than ‘pre-print’, such as ‘Unrefereed manuscript’, “Manuscript awaiting peer review” or ‘’Non-reviewed manuscript”; (b) Caveats about unrefereed manuscripts should be prominent on their first page, and each page should include a red watermark stating ‘Caution—Not Peer Reviewed’; (c) pre-print authors should certify that their manuscript will be submitted to a peer-review journal, and should regularly update the manuscript status; (d) high level consultations should be convened, to formulate clear principles and policies for the publication and dissemination of non-peer reviewed research results; (e) in the longer term, an international initiative to certify servers that comply with good practices could be envisaged.


Lessons from arXiv’s 30 years of information sharing | Nature Reviews Physics

“Since the launch of arXiv 30 years ago, modes of information spread in society have changed dramatically — and not always for the better. Paul Ginsparg, who founded arXiv, discusses how academic experience with online preprints can still inform information sharing more generally….”

How to foster a positive preprint feedback culture: From FAST principles to implementation – ASAPbio

“We dedicated one breakout session during the #FeedbackASAP meeting to explore questions around preprint feedback culture. During the session we focused on two main aspects: a discussion of the FAST principles for preprint feedback, and an exploration of what needs to happen so that we get to the positive culture we wish to see….”

ASAPbio / COAR Survey on Preprint Sharing in Repositories

“The aim of this survey is to assess the levels of preprint sharing taking place using generalist repositories.

A preprint is defined as a scientific manuscript without peer-review typically submitted to a public server/ repository by the author. [Definition adapted from ASAPbio description].
A generalist repository is a repository that collects content from a variety of domains and content types, such as institutional, national and international repositories (e.g. Zenodo, HAL, Harvard’s DASH repository)

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a rise in researchers sharing their preprints. Traditionally, 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 new preprint services.

This survey is targeted at institutional and other generalist repositories to gauge their current activities and future plans related to the collection of preprints. The survey will take only about 5 minutes and will be open from August 4 – September 10, 2021….”

Extending support for preprint sharing – The Official PLOS Blog

“All PLOS journals welcome submission of papers that have been shared as preprints. PLOS was amongst the first publishers to adopt this policy, as we recognise the value in early sharing of community-curated research, a value borne out in the COVID pandemic.

As well as our permissive policy on preprints, we support preprint posting by authors by partnering with preprint services that are relevant to and adopted by a journal’s community. To this end, PLOS’ new journals, which opened for submissions in May 2021, now welcome submissions directly from bioRxiv and/or medRxiv, two of the most widely adopted preprint servers for biology and medicine, respectively.

Bidirectional links between PLOS journal articles and preprints at bioRxiv and medRxiv also help assure readers of the credibility (trustworthiness) of preprints that have been published in peer-reviewed journals….”

How PIDs & Preprints are facilitating the ownership of African scholarly content

“As part of the conference 2021 in the session “Quality and reliability of preprints, Ms Joy Owango presented the work AfricArXiv and TCC Africa are doing in facilitating ownership of African scholarly content using persistent identifiers.”

New Policies on Preprints and Extended Scooping Protection – Review Commons

“Review Commons is announcing two new policies today: As of August 1, 2021, Review Commons will require all authors to post their manuscript as a preprint, prior to transfer to an affiliate journal1. In return, all the affiliate journals provide authors with scooping protection from the date of posting of the preprint….”

Will refereed preprints transform scientific communication? – Review Commons

“The benefits of refereed preprints are clear. Authors can reply in detail to a single journal-agnostic assessment. The referee reports can help authors to select a suitable journal for their work, saving them the time spent reformatting and resubmitting a manuscript to several journals. The ability to transfer referee reports across journals also helps to avoid repeated cycles of peer review, reducing the time that reviewers spend reading and assessing manuscripts. This makes the review process more efficient and favours the rapid dissemination of findings, while enhancing a preprint’s quality, reliability, and readability.

What’s more, as an increasing number of funding institutions allow the inclusion of preprints in grant and fellowships proposals, refereed preprints can also help those evaluating research to focus on the science rather than on the name or impact factor of the journal where the work was published. As such, refereed preprints represent genuine indicators of research quality, helping to inform funding and academic advancement decisions….”

Review Commons – Improve your paper and streamline publication through journal-independent peer-review.

“Review Commons is a platform for high-quality journal-independent peer-review in the life sciences.

Review Commons provides authors with a Refereed Preprint, which includes the authors’ manuscript, reports from a single round of peer review and the authors’ response. Review Commons also facilitates author-directed submission of Refereed Preprints to affiliate journals to expedite editorial consideration, reduce serial re-review and streamline publication.

Review Commons transfers Refereed Preprints on behalf of the authors to bioRxiv and 17 affiliate journals from EMBO Press, eLife, ASCB, The Company of Biologists, Rockefeller University Press and PLOS.

Review Commons will:

Allow reviewers to focus on the science, not specific journal fit.
Enrich the value of preprints.
Reduce re-reviewing at multiple journals.
Accelerate the publishing process by providing journals with high-quality referee reports….”