How the world is adapting to preprints

“A certain trend emerged from the preprint discussions. Praise for preprints and their virtues was reliably bracketed by an acknowledgement that the medium was a bit green and a bit untamed: the Wild West of scientific publishing, where anything can happen.

Similar analogies from the publishing community have been abundant. At a talk organized by the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Shirley Decker-Lucke, Content Director at SSRN, likened preprints to raw oysters: They’re generally safe, but sometimes you get a bad one. On the same panel, Lyle Ostrow, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins, compared the adoption of preprints to the shift from horse-drawn buggies to automobiles: They’re faster, they’re better, but they will require education to use safely. The following week, a Scholarly Kitchen article about preprints drew a parallel with unruly teenagers: “tremendous promise, but in need of more adult supervision to achieve their potential”….

As it is, most preprint servers have not been agnostic about the papers they post. Generally, they restrict passage of content that is clearly unscientific, unethical, potentially harmful or not representative of a novel, empirically derived finding. That is, they already impose some editorial standards.

Preprint platforms offer authors a legitimate place to host their work with unprecedented speed, for free. In time, they could be in a position to enforce, or at least strongly incentivize, standards that are widely acknowledged to support research integrity, like data and code availability, details of randomization and blinding, study limitations and lay summaries for findings that are consequential to human health….”

How the world is adapting to preprints

“A certain trend emerged from the preprint discussions. Praise for preprints and their virtues was reliably bracketed by an acknowledgement that the medium was a bit green and a bit untamed: the Wild West of scientific publishing, where anything can happen.

Similar analogies from the publishing community have been abundant. At a talk organized by the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Shirley Decker-Lucke, Content Director at SSRN, likened preprints to raw oysters: They’re generally safe, but sometimes you get a bad one. On the same panel, Lyle Ostrow, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins, compared the adoption of preprints to the shift from horse-drawn buggies to automobiles: They’re faster, they’re better, but they will require education to use safely. The following week, a Scholarly Kitchen article about preprints drew a parallel with unruly teenagers: “tremendous promise, but in need of more adult supervision to achieve their potential”….

As it is, most preprint servers have not been agnostic about the papers they post. Generally, they restrict passage of content that is clearly unscientific, unethical, potentially harmful or not representative of a novel, empirically derived finding. That is, they already impose some editorial standards.

Preprint platforms offer authors a legitimate place to host their work with unprecedented speed, for free. In time, they could be in a position to enforce, or at least strongly incentivize, standards that are widely acknowledged to support research integrity, like data and code availability, details of randomization and blinding, study limitations and lay summaries for findings that are consequential to human health….”

How Europe’s €100-billion science fund will shape 7 years of research

“Horizon Europe is expected to mandate that grant recipients publish their results according to the principles of open science.

In particular, immediate open-access publishing will become mandatory for all recipients of Horizon Europe research grants, including those from the ERC, says Kütt. Scientists will be required to post an accepted, peer-reviewed version of their papers online at a ‘trusted repository’, according to a draft of the instructions for applicants, but it is unclear at this time which repositories will be acceptable. Grants will cover publishing costs for pure open-access journals, but not for hybrid publications. Authors must also retain intellectual-property rights for their papers….”

You’re invited to ‘Open up! Open Peer Review on ScienceOpen’ – ScienceOpen Blog

“At ScienceOpen, we’ve realized that “open,” which was once applied really only at the article level, should actually be applied to the whole process. Open peer review is a prime example of this. By opening up the peer review process, we increase transparency in the review process, and it simultaneously benefits researchers by giving them credit for the work they do to review a manuscript. On the ScienceOpen platform, you will find that we have innovatively implemented open peer review in a variety of ways–i.e. in the management of preprints, post publication review, and in the creation of open access journals. To demonstrate the solutions we have created in recent months, we invite you to an online session in which Stephanie Dawson will give a complete overview of open peer review on ScienceOpen!  …”

Journal policies and editors’ opinions on peer review

“To the extent that these tensions extend to open peer review policies, editors’ concerns about negative impacts on reviewer acceptance rates are not unfounded [7,21,36-39]. For example, findings from a survey of over 12,000 researchers by Publons in 2018 reported that, depending on which policies were adopted, 37 to 49% of participants stated they would be less likely to accept an invitation to review [7]. However, while these findings are unfortunate for proponents of open peer review, there is also evidence to suggest these views may be shifting, especially among younger and non-academic scholars [7,40].

Previous research has reported that three quarters of editors consider finding willing reviewers as the most difficult part of their job, with this task projected to become only more difficult. Furthermore, given that it is estimated that 10% of reviewers account for 50% of performed reviews, it is not surprising that the perceived impact of changes on an editor’s ability to recruit reviewers contributes heavily to journal policymaking decisions [7]. It is therefore also not surprising for the reasons above that we note very low uptake of the three policies most often associated with open peer review: open identities, open reports and open interactions in the current study and previous research [26,27,29]….”

Open peer review in Janeway. My (MPE’s) weekend hacking activity was… | by Janeway Dev Team | Feb, 2021 | Medium

“My (MPE’s) weekend hacking activity was to build out open peer review in Janeway. That is, like in F1000’s system, the ability for reviewers to consent to their reviews being shared alongside the published article.

While this sounds like a major structural change, because of Janeway’s architecture it was actually pretty easy to do. It took 2hrs 45 minutes. The first thing I did was to add a setting to every journal that allows the editor to enable or disable open peer review….”

A funny thing happened on the way to the Shiny Digital Future | Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

“What would I change about peer review? Since it launched, PeerJ has let reviewers either review anonymously, or sign their reviews, and it has let authors decide whether or not to publish the reviews alongside the paper. Those were both pretty daring steps at the time, but if I could I’d turn both of those into mandates rather than options. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and I think almost all of the abuses of the peer review system would evaporate if reviewers had to sign their reviews, and all reviews were published alongside the papers. There will always be a-holes in the world, and some of them are so pathological that they can’t rein in their bad behavior, but if the system forced them to do the bad stuff in the open, we’d all know who they are and we could avoid them….”

 

UnisaRxiv – ScienceOpen

“UnisaRxiv is designed to provide a platform which allows for rapid dissemination of the latest findings in diverse topics and to promote submissions from any grade of researcher at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and beyond. Researchers at all career stages, including early career researchers, professionals, and senior scholars are invited to submit high quality research manuscripts.

Operating as a preprint repository, with open peer review, the entire publishing process will be accessible, transparent and accountable. Submission will be approved for posting after moderation, but not full peer review. Articles will be judged on the merit and scientific validity (sound scholarship) of the work. After posting authors are encouraged to invite open reviews and comments and to upload revised versions of their manuscripts.”

UnisaRxiv – A cutting-edge Preprint Server for the University of South Africa Press – ScienceOpen Blog

“In the last several years, preprint servers have become increasingly attractive to publishers as strides have been made, such as the assigning of digital object identifiers, that make preprints a better, more trackable form of scientific communication. Moreover, with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, the scientific community has seen preprints play a major role in enabling the swift relaying of research results. Thus, there is a lot of excitement over the future of preprints and how they could transform the scientific publishing landscape. We are therefore excited to announce a new cooperation with the University of South Africa (Unisa) Press, with whom we have created a new preprint server: UnisaRxiv. UnisaRxiv will be a forum to facilitate open peer-review of preprint manuscripts and allow for rapid dissemination of the latest findings in diverse topics. …

As a preprint repository with open peer review, UnisaRxiv will help alleviate a lot of the burden from the peer-review process, while also making the process accessible, transparent and accountable. UnisaRxiv will be available free of charge to researchers affiliated with the University of South Africa, but researchers not affiliated with the university will be required to pay an article processing fee upon acceptance of their manuscript.  …”

Towards a Shared Peer-Review Taxonomy: An interview with Joris van Rossum and Lois Jones – The Scholarly Kitchen

“There are several reasons why STM started this initiative. The last few decades have seen the emergence of new review models which are loosely labelled as ‘open peer review’. But the creation of clear definitions has lagged behind, with the result being that open review means different things to different people. For example, it can refer to the model where the identities of authors, reviewers and editors are open during the review process; the publication of review reports and identities alongside the article; or the ability to comment on the article post-publication. So one reason for launching this initiative is to ensure we have a shared and consistent language. The working group, consisting of representatives from eight publishing organizations, created a terminology describing the process of four elements: identify transparency and who interacts with who during the process; what information about the process is published, and whether post-publication review (which we relabeled ‘post publication commenting’) is enabled. With this taxonomy we hope to cover the vast majority of models being used, both traditional and innovative….”

Towards a Shared Peer-Review Taxonomy: An interview with Joris van Rossum and Lois Jones – The Scholarly Kitchen

“There are several reasons why STM started this initiative. The last few decades have seen the emergence of new review models which are loosely labelled as ‘open peer review’. But the creation of clear definitions has lagged behind, with the result being that open review means different things to different people. For example, it can refer to the model where the identities of authors, reviewers and editors are open during the review process; the publication of review reports and identities alongside the article; or the ability to comment on the article post-publication. So one reason for launching this initiative is to ensure we have a shared and consistent language. The working group, consisting of representatives from eight publishing organizations, created a terminology describing the process of four elements: identify transparency and who interacts with who during the process; what information about the process is published, and whether post-publication review (which we relabeled ‘post publication commenting’) is enabled. With this taxonomy we hope to cover the vast majority of models being used, both traditional and innovative….”

In biology publishing shakeup, eLife will require submissions to be posted as preprints | Science | AAAS

“When major biomedical research funders launched the open-access journal eLife in 2012, they hoped it would push biomedical publishing to take full advantage of the internet’s power to share results freely and instantly. In the ensuing years, the open-access model has caught on. And more and more biologists have shared work in online preprint servers such as bioRxiv and medRxiv before undergoing peer review.

But those changes are not enough for Michael Eisen, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the journal’s editor-in-chief since 2019. This week, eLife announced it will only review manuscripts that have been posted as preprints. And all peer reviews will be made public, including those for manuscripts the journal rejects. Eisen sees the changes as the next logical step in the evolution of the preprint, he told ScienceInsider….”

eLife shifting to exclusively reviewing preprints | For the press | eLife

“eLife has announced that it is transitioning to a new ‘publish, then review’ model for science publishing, in which the journal will exclusively review preprints and its editors and reviewers will focus on producing high-quality peer reviews that will be made public alongside the preprints.

These steps advance eLife’s mission of transforming the communication of new biology and medicine research, and come amid increasing support for preprints within the life science community, including eLife authors. A recent internal analysis showed that around 70% of papers under review at eLife were already available as preprints. The organisation began trialing this system with Preprint Review – an opt-in service for reviewing preprints posted on bioRxiv, which has seen more than 250 papers reviewed since its launch in May….”